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From adding richness and variety to learning, to redesigning a playground, this highly accessible text will provide early years practitioners with a wealth of ideas on how to foster creative play and learning in the outdoor environment with a focus on interacting with the natural world.
Nature and Young Children contains many simple ideas on the type of materials that can be added to encourage observation, exploration and dramatic play, as well as guidance on what early years practitioners can do to help children meet early development and academic goals through outdoor learning activities.
Relating to every-day early years settings throughout, the author of this inspirational text addresses topics such as:
Presented in an effective way to develop environmentally responsible attitudes, values and behaviours, Nature and Young Children is recommended for all early years practitioners and students.
Part 1. Children, Creative Play, and the Natural Environment Children and Childhood. Creative Play. The Natural Environment. Connecting Children and the Natural Environment. Part 2. Designing Special Places for Young Children Design Considerations. Creating an Environmental Yard. One Program’s Story. Checklist for the Outdoor Environment. Part 3. Role of the Adult Provide a Rich Learning Environment. Provide Extended Periods of Uninterrupted Time. Keep the Focus on the Child. Model Desired Attitudes and Behaviors. Interact with the Children in a Positive Way. What Not to Do. Part 4. Fostering Child Development in Natural Settings Domain-Related Skills. Wonder, Creativity, and Imagination. Part 5. Fostering Academic Goals Literacy. Math. Science. Social Studies. Activity/Learning Grid. Summary. Part 6. Special Considerations Benefits of Outdoor Play for All Children. Making Outdoor Play Accessible. Summary. References. Appendix A. Special Places For Young Children Gardening in the Schools. Special Gardens. Appendix B. Additional Resources Publications for Adults. Children’s Books about Gardening. Organizations