Putting children and nature together – getting children outdoors into natural environments – is becoming a fast-growing movement. While research suggests the beneficial effects of the natural world on children, those same children are increasingly experiencing “nature-deficit disorder” (as coined by Richard Louv).
The outdoors is not only a way to support physical fitness, but also an opportunity for encouraging creativity, an understanding of our place in nature, and fun. For tips and activities, as well as outdoor programs for your child, check these out.
- Great nature activities – courtesy of Carmen Field, Education Associate/Naturalist at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, in Homer
- Families Club kits – with age-appropriate activities
- Nature Rocks – find activities by time available, child’s age, where you are
- Early Learning Activities – the Best Beginnings website includes activity sheets for age-appropriate activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, many of which involve the outdoors (in English, Spanish, and Yup’ik)
Outdoor Education Programs
- Outdoor Education Programs – for preschoolers (camping, environment, hands-on learning)
- Get Outdoors Alaska – local events and news
- Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Early Childhood Resources – curriculum, activity guides, workshops
- Children & Nature Network – about the national movement to reconnect children with nature