References and Resources for Expanding Nature-Based Learning in Early Childhood Education Settings
For specific information regarding using ARPA funds, please see AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT (ARPA) STABILIZATION GRANTS – THE PENNSYLVANIA KEY (pakeys.org) For APRA support, please contact your Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) or your STARS Quality Coach. Visit www.dhs.pa.gov to find your local ELRC.
Top 10 Resources to Bring More Nature and Outdoor Learning into your program
- VIDEO: What is Nature-based early childhood education? by Rachel Larimore
- VIDEO: What Nature Teaches Children by Nilda Cosco, NC State Natural Learning Initiative
- Natural Learning Initiative ( NLI), NC State College of Design; many resources available including a Virtual Field Trip and Gardening Activity Guide and Preschool Outdoor Toolkit
- ECHO: Early Childhood Health Outdoors (a collaboration between NLI and National Wildlife Federation, includes How-To Guides to get started on building elements of an outdoor learning environment)
- Nature Play at Home: A Guide for Boosting Your Children’s Healthy Development and Creativity (NLI and ECHO) Free, detailed guide adaptable to all spaces.
- 25 Easy Ideas for Nature Play for Early Childhood Centers (from Green Hearts Institute)
- Our Forest Classroom: Rotating Spaces for Nature Play (ERAFANS)
- Nature Play at Home: Creating Outdoor Spaces that Connect Children with the Natural World by Nancy Striniste
- Nature Based Learning for Young Children: Anytime, Anywhere, On Any Budget by Julie Powers, Sheila Williams Ridge
- Head Start Body Start Infant and Toddler Outdoor Play Space Assessment (ECLKC)
Research Supporting the Benefits of Outdoor Learning
Parent and Staff Education Resources
Infant and Toddler Resources
- CFOC Standards Database 18.104.22.168 Health Promotion and Protection when Playing Outdoors (from NRC, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Early Childhood Care and Education)
- Nature-Based Learning and Development | ECLKC
- Nature-based learning resources (Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center or ECLKC)
- DAP: Teaching to Enhance Each Child’s Development and Learning (NAEYC)
- Natural Start Alliance Google Group of Nature-based educators
- A project of the NAAEE: eePRO’s group for early childhood educators—anyone working with children from birth through age eight. Our goal is to provide a platform for educators to promote programs or events, share news or resources, ask questions, collaborate with peers, or otherwise use this group to advance your work or program.
- Nature Preschool Community (An ERAFANS Facebook group)
- Over 20K members and similar to the NSA Google Group: a place to share resources, ask questions, collaborate and find help and inspiration on anything related to getting children outside.
More to Explore! Click here to view a Nature-Based Play Resource Book List
Higher Education Resources