General Publications and Websites

Risk and Reward of Nature Play. GreenHearts, Inc., 4 p. Greenhearts_RiskRewardNaturePlay_4p_2012

Reinforcing the Thin Green Line: Are New Approaches to Nature Play Forging Powerful Bonds with Nature? GreenHearts, Inc., 5 p. GreenHearts_ThinGreenLine_In-withNature_5p_2012

The Natural Learning Initiative

Let the Children Play

Little Eco Footprints

The Children & Nature Network

The National Wildlife Federation Be Out There:

Guide to Early Childhood for Environmental Educators:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Kids

Nature Explore

Designing Nature Play & Learning

Nature Play & Learning Places, Creating and managing places where children engage with nature; Robin Moore with Allen Cooper
National Guidelines created through a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative to bring nature play and learning to every community. For those who create, manage, or promote the development of nature in the everyday environments of children, youth, and families, especially in urban/suburban communities.

Design Principles for Nature Play Spaces. GreenHearts, Inc., 10 p. GreenHearts_DesignPrinciplesNaturePlay_10p_2009

Pathways for Play: Best Practice Guidelines. Playcore, Inc. and The Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University. 2009. Raleigh, NC: Order for free at:

Link to publications and websites for designing nature spaces for unstructured outdoor play,

Nature Experiences in Early Childhood

25 Easy Nature Play Ideas for Early Childhood Centers. GreenHearts, Inc., 2 p. Greenhearts_25NaturePlayIdeas_Preschool_2p_2010

Growing up Wild: Exploring Nature with Young Children. Council on Environmental Education. 2012, Houston, TX, 128 p. To order visit:

I Love Dirt!, Jennifer Ward, 2008, Boston: Trumpeter, 153 p., 52 activities for children under 5

Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth

Connecting Animals and Children in Early Childhood

Nature and Early Childhood, Mark Whitney, Ph.D., MiraCosta College, Report of Sabbatical Research Project, 2012

References on nature in early childhood education, by Professors Robin Moore and Nilda Cosco, posted at

The Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS), An assessment tool and self-study to measure the quality of outdoor play and learning environments for children 3-5 years old. To order visit:

Guide to Early Childhood for Environmental Educators

Nature Experiences for Youth

For a model of an after-school program, see OutdoorExplore!, San Diego Audubon Society OutdoorExplore!

Roots and Shoots (national)

Kids Eco Clubs (local)

Short nature activities for after-school and youth programs, Nature2Go Activities

Let’s Go Outside! Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature.

Parents and Families Connecting Kids and Nature
Grandparents and Elders Connecting Kids and Nature