Mainstreaming learning outdoors as part of our new normal

The current situation with most children staying at home has caused many a personal reflection on how we have been living our lives, what actually matters to us and what children really need for on-going wellbeing and healthy development.  And of course this has also sparked many a thought for how we might find and …

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Reasons to be outside in the coming months

Building on the great success of our little booklet Making a Mud Kitchen, each year Liz Edwards and I collaborate in producing a freely available resource (funded by Muddyfaces) to support our shared vision and goal of more children thriving outdoors, more often and for longer, benefiting from richer and more meaningful environments offering authentic, …

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Silver Linings

Following the shock of having to temporarily close or significantly limit the numbers of children attending during the emergency pandemic response, emotional upheaval and destabilisation for staff is likely – especially in a newly opened setting that is working hard at becoming established.  Negative feelings can easily be front-of-mind, perhaps focusing upon what is being …

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Dandelion Virtues: the merits of the undervalued ‘weed’

Dandelion Virtues: the merits of the undervalued ‘weed’ – and some more books about dandelions! Ralph Waldo Emerson apparently said that a weed is ‘a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered’, and my reply in the previous Dandelion Appreciation post was that the dandelion is a plant whose virtues we had already long …

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Where are the babies?  Researching children from birth to two’s engagement with the outdoors. 

We were of course very disappointed not to be able to hold the first of our ECO research seminars on 27th March this year.  However, we have two great pieces of news. Firstly, Nicola and Jo have published the first report from their research project, summarising their search of the research literature (and the lack …

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Celebrating World Book Night and Earth Day

Celebrating World Book Night and Earth Day together with six children’s great fiction books featuring Dandelions! “What better day than Earth Day to really make a determined effort to live lives in better harmony with nature.” Dr Jane Goodall This blog, from a lifelong avid reader and lifetime dandelion lover, is about Dandelions and Books.  …

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Creating the meshwork through digital means

We greatly missed connecting in person with everyone at our annual professional gathering at the end of March this year.  Given the likely length of the current situation and not wanting to have a repeated postponement, we have decided to wait until next March for the next national gathering in Sheffield. I’m delighted to be …

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Puddle Play

Menna Godfrey describes the depth of experience that a simple puddle can provide How much learning can a puddle offer?  Is it okay to allow a child to spend so much time apparently ‘just’ standing in a puddle?  What might different individuals get from being able to take as much time as they need to …

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