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Nature Swap: Art Tools Go GREEN!

by Sandra Duncan, Jessica DeViney, and Sara Harris
September/October 2010
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/nature-swap-art-tools-go-green!/5019560/

Many of today’s preschoolers are nature deprived â€" in part because their world is filled with man-made materials. It has been asserted that young children are not only growing up in a world of cement, but on the smell of plastic. The classroom, for example, is perfumed with plastic toys, plates and cups, silverware, floor mats, climbing apparatus, containers and baskets, games, manipulative materials, furniture, and a plethora of other plastic-type materials that children encounter each and every day. Coupled with children’s limited experiences involving natural materials, preschoolers are often detached from nature, resulting in what has been called nature-deficit disorder (Louv, 2003). Fortunately, teachers can reverse children’s nature-deficit disorders by infusing natural materials into classrooms and giving children a positive physical connection to nature.

Infusing nature into classrooms

The majority of American early childhood classrooms use commercially purchased materials ...

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