Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  Nature Based Learning

    Posted 08-16-2017 07:25 AM
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    This summer I transitioned over to nature based learning in our outdoor environment and it was a huge success to both our Smarties ( our daycare children) and ourselves as well!  We planted vegetable seeds, watered, played in mud, built a teepee for our bean,pea and cucumber plants. We are currently watching our blueberry and concord grape plants! But more importantly, we are learning responsibility, cause and effect, when we can pick, how the vegetables taste raw and cooked. The point being we're all eating more vegetables! With fall approaching I am looking at incorporating as many more lifecycles indoors. Also, I would like to add nuts into our sensory box along with leaves, pumpkins, squash, ghourds, etc. Any ideas or resources would be greatly appreciated!
    My Smarties currently have no allergies.

    Patty Willis
    Patty's Playhouse
    Kalamazoo MI

  • 2.  RE: Nature Based Learning

    Posted 08-26-2017 09:46 AM
    There is a great FREE resource and assessment tool for environmental curriculum set out by the North American Association for Envirnmental Education. This tool helped us as a center to re-commit to the belief that it is of the utmost importance that children learn about the world around them and that these experiences with the real world include natural materials. Due to this resource we have developed our environmental program to include  areas such as creating a teaching garden.  Here is the link:

    Nina Betonte
    Little Sunshine House
    Long Beach CA

  • 3.  RE: Nature Based Learning

    Posted 08-27-2017 11:45 AM
    ​Thank you so much for sharing this.  I know how much work and dedication went into creating these amazing guidelines.  Of course, there is always room for growth, so I would like to remind my colleagues not to forget the important role nature plays in spiritual development and visa versa.  I invite any reader who is interested in learning more about the relationships between spirituality and nature to visit my website:  and to attend workshops at the upcoming NAEYC Conference being offered by the Young Children's Spirituality Interest Forum (YCSIF).

    Deborah Schein
    Minneapolis MN

  • 4.  RE: Nature Based Learning

    Posted 08-27-2017 09:06 PM
    Thank you for sharing that resource.

    Sheila Williams Ridge
    U of MN Lab School
    Minneapolis MN