A big THANK YOU! to Tamarack Nature Center for joining MAGI in offering nature play opportunities and resources at this year’s RITE of Spring community Earth Day event. Tamarack naturalist/educator Mary Rogers suggests these resources for families and other educators interested in incorporating nature play into every day:
CHILDREN AND NATURE NETWORK: Founded to support those working to reconnect children with nature. The site offers news, research, tools and resources, and membership information.
EVERGREEN: Canadian national non-profit environmental organization with a mandate to bring nature to cities through naturalization projects. “Evergreen motivates people to create and sustain healthy, natural outdoor spaces and gives them the practical tools to be successful …” Includes an online photo exhibition of natural play places by the Free Play Network and Playlink.
FREEPLAY NETWORK: Links to work by Helle Nebelong, the Danish Landscape Architect, and recreated children’s play spaces such as Murergaarden in Norrebro, and “The Nature Playground” in Valbyparken (the biggest park in Copenhagen). List of play publications as well as tips for creating successful play spaces.
GREEN HOUR: A program of the National Wildlife Federation, is a movement to give all children a “green hour” each day. The “green hour” is a period of time for play and interaction in the natural world. The site offers information, activity ideas, a blog, and message boards. It offers support and encouragement for both families and caregivers. NWF has also initiated a campaign called “Be Out There” with a link to a parent guide.
NATURE ACTION COLLABORATIVE FOR CHILDREN: New worldwide effort to make nature education a sustaining and enriching part of the daily lives of children. Membership is free and open to anyone who is interested in reconnecting young children with nature. Includes resource lists with books, websites, CDS and DVDs.
NATURE EXPLORE: Collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, Nature Explore offers resources for educators, families, and anyone working to connect young children with nature. Tour a Nature Explore play space at arbordayfarm.org