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Nature Can Be Everywhere
January 5, 2010
Laughter is an instant vacation.
-Milton Berle (1908 - 2002), American comedian
Rusty Keeler, author of the popular Exchange book, Natural Playscapes: Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul, addresses the questions of many who provide care in settings where nature is far removed...

"I know what you are thinking:  You love natural playscapes.  You dream of providing your children with the opportunities to play and discover the world of nature.  But you just don’t have the space.  You don’t have the right conditions.  You don’t have sunlight or you don’t get enough rain.  Don’t let that stop you!  Centers all over the world are looking at their outdoor spaces — big and small — and deciding to take the plunge and begin to add natural elements to their yards.  It doesn’t take the perfect piece of land or picture-perfect conditions to be able to make beautiful changes to your outdoor space.  All it takes is some creativity and helping hands.  You can do it."

In this article, "Small space made natural," in the November 2009 issue of Exchange, Rusty describes how a center in Portland, Oregon, introduced natural spaces into their urban center.

Exchange has a wide variety of resources on environments, which can be purchased separately on altogether at a discounted price in our Environments Tool Kit.  Exchange environmental resources in the kit include...

  • Caring Spaces, Learning Places: Children's Environments That Work
  • Natural Playscapes: Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul
  • Learning With Nature Idea Book: Creating Nurturing Outdoor Spaces for Children
Beginning Workshop Units:
  • Environments for Special Needs
  • Environments
  • Nature and Young Children
  • Outdoor Environments
  • Space
  • Science, Using the Outdoors
  • Learning Materials


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Comments (2)

Displaying All 2 Comments
Unaisi Vasu Tuivaga · January 05, 2010
Fiji Early Childhood Association / Pacific Preschool Council
Suva, Rewa, Fiji

I am inspired by this article on the use of nature in children's development and learning. We have so much space and natural surroundings in our preschools but our teachers have to be motivated to use their creative talents in making use of natural materials for children's learning. Many of our early childhood teachers who prefer to use bought materials are now slowly moving towards using natural materials as well as effectively utilising the wide spaces around them.

Wendy · January 05, 2010
United States

Timely and interesting article! Would have loved to see some pictures of the space turned out.

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