Nature play and learning every day!


“Creating environments for healthy human development and a healthy biosphere for generations to come.”

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.

PROGRAMS integrate many multi-year PROJECTS with the aim of achieving higher levels of sustained quality. Projects are typically concentrated, short duration efforts that focus on specific design issues (e.g., design assistance, evaluation, professional development, or policy initiative).

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.

THE GREEN DESK contains numerous resources meant to improve outdoor learning environments and promote healthy, natural child development, physical activity, and nature-based learning.

¡Consulta nuestros recursos en pdf en español!

Many thanks to our sponsors!

News and Upcoming Events

Happy Holidays 2022

Happy Holidays 2022

Happy Holidays from the Natural Learning Initiative! Join us as we celebrate nature play and learning with our holiday postcard.

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NLI Online Certificate Programs

NLI Online Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments was developed with early childhood professionals in mind and Designing Early Childhood Outdoor Environments was developed for design…

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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
  • May boost immune system