Term

Fall 12-15-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Laura J. Halldin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Susan Hoffman, MBA.

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Elizabeth Braatz, M.A.

Abstract

This capstone addressed the research question, Would the creation of an environmental, outdoor education toolkit help significantly benefit very young children reach their childhood milestone goals? It documents the creation of an educational toolkit for children aged 6 – 18 months old, which integrated age appropriate developmental milestone games and activities with outdoor themed activities. The goal was to prove that proving parents and caregivers with a toolkit for this age group of 6–18-month-old children would help make parents interested in spending more time outdoors, provide a cost-affective method for early outdoor exposure, and help parents save time by using childhood milestones that the parents and caretakers were already familiar with. The writer examines the past relationship that humans had with nature and how humans interact with their natural surroundings now. She examines how our current society's lack of interest and exposure to nature has lead to spending less time outdoors. Research supports that technological advances, coupled with current generations not being exposed to nature at early ages, contributed to children spending less time outdoors. This capstone's initial results supported the argument that early exposure to the outdoors would be successful because of the information found in the current research. Utilizing current bodies of research that prove early outdoor exposure to very young children has long lasting positive health benefits and growth potential lead to the author’s composition of the educational toolkit. The author’s final conclusions were that the toolkit successfully created a cost effective and easy to use toolkit based on participants’ responses to the question and answer hands on take home survey.

Research Methodology

Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)

Included in

Education Commons

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