Nature Education for Young Children: Using Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor Classroom Sites in Nebraska
The Nebraska Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NeNACC) sponsors are partnering to develop Nebraska sites in early childhood programs, elementary schools, or home child care centers that will become part of the national network of Nature Explore Classrooms. These sites are intended to serve as demonstration sites for other programs wishing to use nature as an integral part of children's daily learning. Visit the Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children's Web site for a complete description of the Nature Explore project and for a listing of Nebraska outdoor classroom sites.
Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood was founded in 2005 in Omaha, and has a long-term goal of developing and operating a multi-state network of nature preschools embedded within small children's nature centers that stress play-based nature experiences in all their activities. A booklet entitled A Parent's Guide to Nature Play is available to download.
Montessori Children's Room in Omaha teaches children the importance of caring for the environment and developing a respect for nature. Each classroom leads out to a beautiful outdoor classroom where children have the opportunity to interact with nature on a daily basis.
Children and Nature in our Parks, located in Gering, Nebraska, is a regional coalition of agencies that promotes quality outdoor educational learning opportunities for students and families utilizing the parks and natural settings of western Nebraska.
For further information on nature education, contact Mary Beth Pistillo, training coordinator at the Early Childhood Training Center.