Enspirement: The world-first platform transforming the early years’ experience through meaningful environmental design

The introduction of ‘enabling environments’ as a key principle in providing effective early childhood education and care (ECEC) has itself enabled a great leap forward in thinking and practice.  As someone who is fascinated by the relationship between organisms (children especially) and their surroundings, I’ve long witnessed that the environment is in fact the first …

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Unhurried communicative spaces in the early learning and care setting

Isn’t it good when one thing leads to another?  This is certainly one of the intentions behind Early Childhood Outdoors’ mission of bringing outdoor champions into contact with each other. Back in August we shared an edited version of an article written by Orlagh Doyle about how practice at her two nurseries in Wexford, Ireland …

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Outdoor experiences beyond the nursery garden

I recently enjoyed exploring some local residential streets with the team at Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery in Barnsley, and was reminded about the incredible treasury of fascinating and important things to be found in the ordinary, everyday places where people live their lives.  These are places we tend to overlook in providing high quality Early …

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Where Nature Meets Story

One of the lovely outcomes for me of participating in the 2019 Children and Nature Network international conference in California was meeting Tania Moloney from Victoria, Australia.  Tania has boundless mission, creativity and energy for developing deep experiences for both children and adults in the outdoors – founding and creating Nature in Nurture Australia, Treehouse …

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Helpful Resources: Nature storytelling playbook

Earlier this month we introduced a new stream of this blog aiming to bring to attention to some of the longer, more in-depth, sometimes freely available, materials being produced that support outdoor- and nature-based practices, starting with the special issue of Barnardo’s free to download Childlinks magazine focusing on nature-based preschools. This week we want …

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Learning through Nature

Way back in 1997, Robin Moore and Herb Wong wrote a book documenting the incredible transformation of an American school’s grounds from an exposed asphalt desert into a nature-filled paradise of happiness, wellbeing and highly motivated learning – called Natural Learning: the life history of an environmental schoolyard and subtitled ‘creating environments for rediscovering nature’s way …

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Helpful Resources: A focus on nature-based preschools from Barnardos in Ireland

Over the lifetime of this blog, we have been able to point people to a wide range of relevant and useful resources, carrying out the aspiration for Early Childhood Outdoors to act as a resource directory: Acting as a source directory, Early Childhood Outdoors helps to share resources that support the mission of “more children …

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Nature Play for Babies and Toddlers

I have just finished reading the very interesting paper published (open access online on 28th May 2021) by Nicola Kemp and Jo Josephidou in the journal Early Years, titled Babies and toddlers outdoors: a narrative review of the literature on provision for under twos in ECEC settings. This is from the first phase of their Froebel Trust funded …

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Sustainability mindset – challenging the norm and raising questions on pedagogy and practice

A few months ago, in April 2021, Janet Packer and Lindsey Bielby shared some of their vision for Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery at an online meeting hosted by Sheffield branch of Early Education.  I was struck by how they framed their approach in practice, towards their core values of wellbeing and sustainability, as a sustainability …

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Outdoor Learning in Carraig Briste & Killegney Early Years

One of the key intentions of Early Childhood Outdoors has been to create a strong and resilient meshwork that brings together the life journeys (both past achievements and future aspirations) of the very many people around the UK and Ireland who hold a strong belief in the importance and value of being outdoors for young …

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