What a Wonderful World is most certainly the theme in nature right now! Spring is close to turning into summer; the longest day is less than two weeks away; and it is so lovely to watch parent birds feeding their fluffy fledglings.
This week’s collection of recommended picture books takes us past the halfway mark of our 30-book library for encouraging young children’s fascinations and supporting play in and with nature. I hope you come to love these books as much as I do, and share them as often as possible!
Another festival of fun and fascination is just around the corner! Teacher Tom’s Play Summit runs as a free online event for early childhood professionals and parents from 20th – 26th June, and I’m honoured to be part of this incredible, diverse line-up of presenters from around the world.
I have loved reading Tom’s daily musings about play and real education at the cooperatively run Woodland Preschool in Seattle over many years, and have repeatedly urged others to do the same. We finally met and had some engrossing conversations in Iceland during the Play Iceland International study visit in 2018 – apparently I gave him a long list of books to read…
So I’m really pleased to welcome an international collaboration with Teacher Tom into the ECO meshwork, and to encourage everyone to make the most of this free and extensive opportunity! Here’s what Tom has to say about his very exciting play summit this year:
What if the whole world understood the power of trusting children with the freedom to play, to explore their world, to ask and answer their own questions? What if everyone respected their right to learn in their own way, on their own time? What if we remembered that children must have their childhoods and that means playing, and lots of it? Teacher Tom’s Play Summit is a free, online conference that takes place June 20-25.
Click here to get your free pass to all 24 of our incredible sessions with early childhood and parenting experts and thought leaders from around the world. Every one of these people are professionals who have placed children first. You will walk away from this event transformed, informed, challenged, and inspired to create a world that respects children and sets them free to learn and grow. Together we can, as presenter Raffi sings, “Turn this world around!”
The summit is a celebratory deep-dive into early childhood with an emphasis on improving the lives and prospects of our youngest citizens by treating them with respect and trust, allowing them freedom, and making their world fair, just, and equitable. Not to mention defending their right to a childhood filled with play! Whether you’re an educator of young children or a parent or grandparent, I’m sure you’ll walk away with your mind, heart, and spirit full.
The conference kicks off on the 20th June and runs for 6 days entirely online – you can check out the speakers and topics here. (Please register with this link so that ECO benefits as a summit affiliate). Once registered, you will get on-demand access each day to four, hour-long, pre-recorded video sessions to watch whenever you want that day. You can watch one or you can watch all four, with new sets for each day of the summit (that’s 24 interviews over the whole summit for free). There’s also a private Facebook group where you can share ideas and discuss the presentations with other educators and parents and talk with the conference speakers.
These sessions offer the kind of inspiration and provocative thinking you’ll want to talk about with others, so do share this link with everyone you work and play with, since it’s free.
A book a day for nature play – week 3 of 30 Days Wild by Jan White
Monday 14th June: Creatures – Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder (Candlewick Press 2018)
Tuesday 15th June: Earth and Stone – Petra by Marianna Coppo (Thames and Hudson 2018)
Wednesday 16th June: Plants and Growing – Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle Books 2017)
Thursday 17th June: Trees and Sticks – Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (HMH books 2014)
Friday 18th June: Weather and Seasons – Grandfather Twillight by Barbara Berger (Putnam Publishing Group 1996)
Weekend 19th & 20th June: Gratitude and Giving Back – What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele (OUP Oxford 2015)
Featured image is copyright Carol Duffy and most not be used without written permission from the photographer or Early Childhood Outdoors. Book covers sourced from Amazon.co.uk