Research shows that both play and time spent in nature is critical to childhood development. Over the last fifty years, children’s access to extended play in outdoor spaces has decreased substantially. What are early childhood educators in formal academic settings to do with this information? The professional development series created for this project aims to provide early childhood educators with tools and resources to incorporate nature-based play practices into their classrooms. In the series, participants will examine the history of outdoor education in America, the effects of nature on the human body, standardized testing and current educational practices in early learning environments, and play’s role in child development. Information from each of these sections will provide background information and research that will help educators to incorporate nature-based play practices in holistic, culturally responsible ways. Each in-person workshop will be followed by take-home assignments for deeper understanding and personal application. The goal of this project is to increase awareness surrounding the positive effects of nature-based practices in early childhood education programs by equipping teachers with research and tools to do in their own classrooms
Adult Education, Early Childhood, Environmental Studies, Staff Development
Krohn, Abbie, "Implementing Nature-Based Play In Academically Focused Early Childhood Settings" (2023). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 1004.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects