Learning Experiences, Strategies, & Curriculum

Environments: Outside & Nature

Research shows that connecting young children to nature, during the early years of life, has many long-term benefits. The resources below will help early childhood education providers consider how outdoor spaces can be used to promote learning and development as well as ideas to create and use nature spaces.

The Children and Nature Network (website) provides research, resources, and networking for educators and families to help connect children with nature. Their research library provides infographics, research digests, case studies, webinar recordings, and more to understand how time spent in nature promotes learning and development. 

Green Schoolyards of America (website) provides a “National Outdoor Learning Librarywith resources to explore how to create “living schoolyardsas well as activity guides and more for how to teach on school yards.

Nature-Based Learning and Development (website) by Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center explores the benefits of nature play for children's well-being, growth, and educational success. It also provides practical suggestions for creating indoor and outdoor nature-driven learning spaces.

The Outdoor Environment: Designing for Learning (website) A free self-paced online learning module from Virtual Lab School Is focused on the design and organization of the indoor early childhood learning environment.

Please visit the Nutrition and Physical Activities page for more resources promoting healthy eating and physical activity in early care and education environments and for families with young children.

Stay on top of resources and opportunities for environmental education in early childhood through the Wisconsin-based early childhood list-serv! Send an email to [email protected] or send an email to [email protected] and request to be added.


Updated 2/22/2024

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