“Play is the work of the child”, and one of our key roles as educators is to create spaces that allow unstructured play that stimulates and engages children, allowing them to directly experience the natural world as they follow ants and smell the flowers. Research shows that children who play outside in nature in the company of a caring adult YOU! are more likely to practice responsible environmental behavior when they grow up.
In this interactive session, you will learn about the research and benefits of active outdoor nature play, consider how to weave this in your teaching/parenting and come away with practical ideas to incorporate into your practice. Come prepared to go outside!
Be able to share the benefits of outdoor play with their colleagues, parents and children
Come away with at least one new activity to implement in their work
Be inspired to explore new ways to engage children outdoors
Resources and ideas for doing more and taking this work further.
Christina Pickles has been an environmental educator for 20 years and has worked in wetlands, badlands, forests, streams and streets with all ages. For the last 5 years she has lead the Get Outside and Play Early Childhood Network in Alberta and has shifted her focus to the importance of connecting children and adults with the natural world through play. She lives in Calgary minutes from Bow River with her family.
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