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Inspire Hands-On Learning Through Loose Parts Play

Inspire Hands-On Learning Through Loose Parts Play

Loose parts are any open-ended natural or man-made materials that can be moved and reconfigured in multiple ways. These materials can be combined to create...

A Head Taller: Let Children Play on Their Own Terms

A Head Taller: Let Children Play on Their Own Terms

“In play, a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior in play it is as though he were a head taller...

Process Over Product

Process Over Product

For young children, play is about experiencing the world: about getting their hands on and into all the things that spark their curiosity. Kids want...

Learning with Nature: Finding Creative Inspiration

Learning with Nature: Finding Creative Inspiration

Learning with nature means not just learning in or about nature, but learning in an environment where the natural world becomes another teacher. Good teachers of course help their students learn facts and ways...

How to Make Outdoor Play Possible All Year Long

How to Make Outdoor Play Possible All Year Long

It is so important that children get outside to play. When children step outdoors their senses activate and they experience the world in a heightened...

What is play?

What is play?

What is play exactly? Why do we play? Why do children play? Why do animals play? When you see dogs playfully roughhousing or dolphins joyously...

Outdoor Preschool During a Pandemic: Creating an Urban Forest School

Outdoor Preschool During a Pandemic: Creating an Urban Forest School

So there we were last spring: in the middle of a global pandemic. School, childcare, everything, shutdown! Then all summer we wondered: Yes, school? No,...

Knee Deep in Nature

Knee Deep in Nature

Ok, I admit it—it’s difficult for me when my kids go back to school in the fall. I’m one of those adults who has a...

The Beauty of Connection

The Beauty of Connection

It was the most healing thing I’d seen during this whole COVID time: children playing together—finally. After how long? Too long. My two sons, 8 and...

Learning with Nature: Animals and Empathy

Learning with Nature: Animals and Empathy

“Look a worm. We should make it a home!” If you’ve spent any time with young children, you’ve likely heard a phrase similar to this...

Learning with Nature: Math of Plants

Learning with Nature: Math of Plants

Bursts of sunflowers, spirals of a cucumber tendrils, different leaf shapes of the sassafras tree, and the large number of acorns during an oak mast...

Learning with Nature: Moments of Serendipity

Learning with Nature: Moments of Serendipity

The memory of my grandmother’s voice and joy as she declared, “Serendipity!” came flooding back to me last week. I was spending the day with...

Learning with Nature: The Power of Silence

Learning with Nature: The Power of Silence

The world is so noisy! There are dings of email alerts, cars, air conditioners running, lawnmowers, garbage trucks—the list goes on. Metaphorically we’re also surrounded...

Learning with Nature: Language and Literacy in Context

Learning with Nature: Language and Literacy in Context

“But how will they learn to read and write outside?” I often hear this question from parents considering a nature-based preschool. Honestly, the answer is...

Learning with Nature: Awaking a Sense of Wonder

Learning with Nature: Awaking a Sense of Wonder

Exploring nature is a surefire way to spark young children’s learning. Children inherently want to learn which is why they’re constantly asking questions. They’re full...

Everyday Materials Have the Capacity to be Playful

Everyday Materials Have the Capacity to be Playful

The world is a naturally playful place. Children don’t need to be in a playroom or at a park to explore playfully. In fact, they’re...

How to Incorporate Light and Shadow Exploration into Playtime

How to Incorporate Light and Shadow Exploration into Playtime

Light and shadow are all around us: you don’t need to look far to find natural or artificial light making spaces more interesting. In the...

Everywhere Materials: Play is Possible All Around Us

Everywhere Materials: Play is Possible All Around Us

We know that children are going to play, no matter what: through good days and bad days, celebrating their interests and digging deep into the...

Image of a build using Guidecraft Little Bricks outdoors on pavement

Space for Possibility: Using Open-Ended Materials in Child-Centered Play

Young children are always at play. Their minds and bodies are wired to explore their world, no matter the location or context. In and around...

Mud Play = The Perfect Screen Break – Lauren’s Learning Lab Featuring Rusty Keeler

Mud Play = The Perfect Screen Break – Lauren’s Learning Lab Featuring Rusty Keeler

In this episode of Lauren’s Learning Lab, mom, architect and teacher, Lauren Magee is joined by author, educator and natural playscape designer, Rusty Keeler. Together, they work to design...