Nuggets from 2016 (Part 1)

Each year, nuggets of information fly by in our blog posts. Some are practical tips on using your outdoor classroom. Some are inspirational examples of how other educators use theirs, or of children’s transformations in nature.

In reviewing the posts from 2016, we’ll look at some of the nuggets, the practical or inspirational ideas that could empower your great work with children. The list will be segmented by blog post. This list of ideas will not be all of the great ideas from each post. When you see helpful ideas, click on the title for the original post.


Nature’s Icebox – Ideas for Play in a Cold Weather Outdoor Classroom

By Heather Fox


Natural Wood: Lessons and Gifts

By Jim Wike

 Give careful consideration to species selection and be aware of the sustainability impacts of your choice.


Car Mittens vs. Snow Mittens

By Diann Gano, Nature Explore Certified Classroom owner: Under the Gingko Tree

 Solicit outgrown winter clothing from families.


At the Developmental Disabilities Institute — Experiencing is Believing

By Dexter Lane


Music and Nature: A Natural Combination

By Heather Fox

Nature provides inspiration for a child’s self-expression through music, song and body movement. The openness of outdoor environments inspires children to use their entire bodies expressively and creatively, whether in an outdoor classroom or in a backyard. Gathering instruments into these spaces ensures that creative expression will follow.


Indiana: The State of Outdoor Education

By Dexter Lane

 Advocacy by local members for support for nature-based education was presented to the Executive Director of the Indiana State Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC), Dianna Wallace, (already a passionate supporter of the idea). The Indiana AEYC has embraced the concept of outdoor learning, and is facilitating its spread throughout the state.


Lions and Tigers and Squirrels, Oh My!

By Dexter Lane

Animals in your backyard, local park, or Nature Explore Classroom might not be as exotic to a young child as are African animals, but can be more interesting when seen and studied frequently. Look over lions, tigers and bears in books and online, but don’t overlook birds, squirrels and ants outside.


Top FREE Resources to Promote Nature Play

By Kelsey Moline



By Dexter Lane

Educators worldwide have been noticing that children entering kindergarten during the past ten or so years do not have the fine motor control of children from previous years. Adding urgency to the issue are solid research findings tying fine motor skills in kindergarten to later achievement in reading and math.


Why Mud?

Nature Explore Communications Staff

It’s never too early to practice for International Mud Day (June 29). Mud is universal, timeless and surprising.  Some ideas…


A Simple Idea That Could Transform Your School, Too

By Dexter Lane

The Grace Lower School in Houston, Texas trains older children (Resource Coaches) to work with younger children in their Nature Explore Classroom.


Healing “Owies” at Warren Village

By Dexter Lane

Warren Village in Denver, Colorado is transitional housing for families escaping homelessness.