what we do
Increasing numbers of children are growing up with insufficient contact with the natural world. To counteract this trend, the Natural Learning Initiative offers evidence-based design assistance, professional development, and information resources to advance experience of the natural environment in the daily lives of all children.
PROJECTS are typically concentrated, short duration efforts that focus on specific design issues or involve a single aspect of a program (e.g., design assistance, evaluation, professional development or policy initiative).
PROGRAMS integrate design assistance, evaluation, professional development, and policy initiatives, with the aim of achieving higher levels of sustained quality. These activities are often tied to a multi-year project, which may include much more.
RESOURCES are created, often in collaboration with NLI’s interdisciplinary partners, to support technical assistance, professional development, and generally to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children. Please use and share.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT and training includes theory, principles, and techniques that guide the design of play and learning environments with an emphasis on the design and management of natural environments to support healthy child development.
News and Upcoming Events
The Nature-Based Learning Network (NBLN) gathering at the Children & Nature Network International Leadership Summit, Oakland, California, May 2018, provided an opportunity to create an international declaration on nature-based learning.read more
Virtual field trip of childcare outdoor learning environments. POD considers the design of outdoor environments in early childhood as a preventative health intervention.read more
Did You Know Outdoor Time…
- Supports gross motor skills
- Encourages healthy eating
- Improves eyesight
- Promotes cognitive development
- Improves academic performance
- Lessens ADHD symptoms
- Promotes self-confidence
- Reduces stress