#OptOutside

The Holiday seasons are upon once again. The traditions of home and work will fill our coming days and weeks. In all this, we hope that you start a new tradition with your family, co-workers, and families of the children in your care… taking the day after Thanksgiving, maybe even most of the weekend after … Read more…

Routine

Most people thrive on routine, children for sure. Most of us like the predictability of how our work days should go or even how our mornings are planned. I know, not all people can handle routine 24-7. Routine is good, but routine is difficult to build and takes time and thought. Routine is sometimes purposeful … Read more…

A shifting baseline

How many times have you read about the changing picture of early childhood in this country (and maybe even around the globe)? I talk about it in trainings with early care and education providers. We talk about how society has changed in the last generation plus, how the rate of childhood obesity is escalating, the … Read more…

Aren’t you cute!

I’m not even sure where to begin. I am so stuck… how do I begin to talk about individuals overstepping their boundaries when exploring nature?  How do we – the collective we of non-formal and environmental and conservation educators – educate both the adults of today AND their children about NOT putting baby bison in … Read more…

Are you a rock hound?

Have you ever collected rocks? Maybe I should ask, do you still collect rocks? My husband and I do. Yes, I just admitted that. We have very large rocks from when the stone steps at my mother-in-law’s house were replaced. I have the ‘worry stone’ that my father kept in his pocket. We will collect … Read more…

Playground or playspace?

I had never given the words ‘playground’ or ‘playspace’ much consideration for their differences until I was prepping for an outdoor training for early care and education providers about creative free-play in the outdoors, no matter the season. I’ve read that ‘play is the work of childhood.’ Through play, children learn about themselves and the … Read more…

First Day Hike!

This is a share from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Explorations for Early Learners Blog… I challenge each of us (that includes yours truly, too) to set a realistic, albeit a bit challenging, goal of getting outside every set amount of time in 2016… choose whether it is just you will spend time … Read more…

Ripples

I don’t much like to watch the news on television. Reading the newspaper is only slightly better as it’s easier to pick and choose. Am I sticking my head in the sand, refusing to deal with the harsh reality of what is the year 2015? No… I just get tired of hearing the reality of … Read more…

Instill a sense of giving back

The fourth Saturday in October is National Make A Difference Day. This USA TODAY initiative is organized in collaboration with the Points of Light Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. 2015 marks the 24th year of volunteers uniting to improve the lives of others – of neighbors helping neighbors. I grew up with parents who volunteered … Read more…

Build Your Scaffold

I love reading the articles and research that are posted by the Children & Nature Network. Most of the time, these posts lead me on a wandering retracing of my experiences, thoughts, and connections. The 27 August 2015 post was a news story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about a Twin Cities based non-profit that … Read more…

Musings from Murgatroyd

By Linette Bernard Murgatroyd is a family surname from England and has absolutely nothing to do with early childhood. The saying ‘heavens to Murgatroyd’ was one I remember my father saying, as well as ‘musings from Murgatroyd’ often were at the top of handwritten letters to me during and after college. August 18 would have … Read more…