Early Childhood Outdoor Play and Learning Spaces (ECOPALS) – Train the Trainer

Early Childhood Outdoor Play and Learning Spaces (ECOPALS): Train the Trainer (TtT) equips participants with knowledge, skills, practical examples, and content resources to support their confidence to train others and promote the creation of healthy outdoor environments and programs in early care and education settings.

Participants learn about the key elements that contribute to a high-quality outdoor children’s environment including best practice indicators, play and learning programming, gardening for healthy eating and physical activity, and strategies to engage early childhood educators in implementing outdoor play and learning environments. Participants receive materials and resources to deliver engaging sessions that promote the adoption of healthy outdoors play and learning environments.


This Course Aims To:

  • Train future instructors/trainers and subject matter experts on the importance of early childhood outdoor play and learning spaces.
  • Train existing instructors and subject matter experts to increase their knowledge repertoire to include early childhood outdoor play and learning spaces.
  • Support future trainers to empower their organizations and/or communities to promote, develop, implement, manage, and evaluate high-quality outdoor spaces for young children.
  • Equip future trainers with knowledge, skills, and resources readily transferred to practitioners in multiple fields as strategic tools to achieve long-term, sustainable change in their contexts.


This Course Contains 8 Modules

  1. TtT Overview. Course Aims, Structure, Learning Objectives, and Resources
  2. Environment and Behavior Approach to Outdoor Play and Learning Spaces, Creation and Management
  3. Outdoor Play and Learning Environments Best Practice Indicators for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
  4. Preventing Obesity by Design (POD) Strategy
  5. Fruit and Vegetable Gardening: Preparing, Caring, Harvesting & Eating
  6. Family Engagement
  7. Project Implementation
  8. Capstone Project


Learning Outcome:

By completing the online Train the Trainer (TtT) course participants will be able to transfer knowledge and encourage implementation of naturalized outdoor play and learning environments to increase the well-being of young children.

Who is the Course for?

  • Highly Qualified Professionals
  • Experienced Trainers
  • College Instructors

* focus on early childhood education, public health, horticulture, and landscape design, working with/for children


NLI Outdoor Learning Environments Certificate or other course of similar rigor and content.


Online access is required. The distance education course is delivered online, with optional online interactive sessions (live chats and video calls).

The next session will run through:

June 3-23, 2024

Registration Coming Soon