To subscribe to ExchangeEveryDay, a free daily e-newsletter, go to


Building Resilience and Learning Outdoors

We believe in the value of blocks and sticks, cardboard and crates, ropes and buttons, rocks and fabric...the only limit of the parts is the imagination of the player.
The Playbrary, Philadelphia, PA

The Five Towns Early Learning Center in Inwood, NY, is one of many programs sharing stories of learning and resilience through taking learning outdoors and deepening a connection with nature. “When in 2009, we opened our Certified Nature Explore Classroom, we never expected that we would live through a pandemic. We never expected all the confusion and stress that it would bring to our community, the children and the world. To serve our community we expanded our program for 18 months to include 15 school-aged children.”

Describing their afternoons outdoors, they share, "The children built homes for the bugs and they built structures with branches to play in. They created games and played scavenger hunt. They took everything outside. They read books and played chess on the gazebo. They played tag and hopscotch. They became experts with the hula hoops. We had to buy multiple jump ropes as they all learned to jump rope. They even were competent at double dutch and had three children jumping together…During the entire 18 months, we have been able to provide experiences in the outdoors that support not only physical health, but mental and spiritual health as well.” Read more.

For those ready to expand their program’s connection with nature, there’s still time to join two Live Online Nature Explore workshops:
For a more immersive experience, the Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute will bring together educators, directors, landscape architects, environmentalists and more for an immersive indoor/outdoor professional development experience, July 24-27 at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

For more information about Exchange's magazine, books, and other products pertaining to ECE, go to

© 2005 Child Care Information Exchange - All Rights Reserved | Contact Us | Return to Site