A compilation of resources from the Children & Nature movement,  this virtual gathering place is a platform for sharing and connecting with the natural world during COVID-19. Contains resources, tips, tools, blogs and webinars posted weekly from the best and brightest in the field with a focus on equitable access to nature.

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Kathleen Lockyer, creator of the Nature-Led Approach is an Occupational Therapist of 20 years experience and a leader in Sensory Processing Disorders and Therapeutic Listening. She is also a Naturalist, Herbalist and mother of two teenage women.  Kathleen has dedicated her life to creating programs and trainings to facilitate child development by using routines of Sensory Processing and Integration in the natural world. Kathleen is a self proclaimed “fierce protector of children and childhood” and her empowering blog and mentorship program is a light in the storm for parents & educators with sensitive children.

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Subject Area: Occupational Therapy

Dr Carla Gull of Loose Parts Nature Play, educator and mother to four energetic boys, begins her podcast series with exploration of the Theory of Loose Parts paper by Simon Nicholson, who argued that everyone should have the right to realise their creative potential and inventiveness, not just scientists and artists.  This paper is a foundation piece in the study of loose parts play and nature exploration. With loose parts, there are so may variables in action within an environment that is always changing.

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Length: 31m : 00s

Subject Area: Loose Parts

If you’re a parent, ask yourself – when was the last time your child climbed a tree? With increasing reliance on technology and parental safety concerns, children have never been so separated from the natural world. Catalyst investigates the science of outdoor play and shows how it can improve children’s health, academic performance, mental well-being, personal and social development, concentration levels and symptoms of ADHD.

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Length: 6m : 19s

An embodied educational environment is one that is in tune with the intimate connection of the body and the mind. This article explores the importance of nature in creating such environments. The main theme is that emerging multidisciplinary thought on the embodied mind can provide new ways to understand the positive role of nature in children’s education. New perspectives on embodiment can help explain: a) why we resonate with nature and find experiences of nature so engaging; b) why ex- periences of awe and aesthetic beauty often motivate learning and change attitudes about our relationship with the environment; and c) why engagement with nature often has positive health and psychological benefits, including a restorative effect on attention.

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Excellent resource full of great ideas and imagery to help families and care providers restore nature to children’s everyday outdoor play and learning environments. Includes information on the developmental benefits of nature play,the importance of risk taking, where to start and how to implement change in your play space. Includes a list of suggested materials to introduce, different types of settings, how to manage a nature play space and the importance of getting children’s input right from the beginning.

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This document from Western Australia is a powerful resource for recognising and linking curriculum, outcomes and capabilities to Nature Play/Pedagogy from Early Years up to and including Year 6.

Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors. Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements in nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. They foster an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness and provide a platform for ongoing environmental education (DEEWR, 2009, P. 16).

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Year Level: Early Years, Primary

Subject Area: Curriculum