Learning in Nature: Establishing Outdoor Care and Education

With Cynthia Aldinger and Mary O’Connell

Back by popular demand!
Online, August 5 – September 5, 2020

With the strengthening power of fresh air and the elements of nature, more time outdoors can be an elixir for adults and children in early childhood programs!  This online course will explore the elements of an outdoor program founded on relationship-based care and the Living Arts, whether you are creating a program from scratch or simply incorporating more outdoor time into your existing program.

Time in a natural outdoor setting has so many benefits for children: fostering wonder, encouraging natural observation, building resilience and health, nourishing the senses, and promoting relationships. Recent events have led many early childhood professionals and parents to explore the possibilities of offering expanded outdoor opportunities.

Join us for our NEW online course “Learning in Nature: Establishing Outdoor Care and Education” in which:

  • Cynthia and Mary will guide you in exploring the possibilities of creating outdoor experiences for the children in your care.
  • You will be inspired by a multitude of ways other caregivers and teachers have offered expanded outdoor exploration.
  • You will create a plan to bring the Living Arts outdoors!
  • You will earn a certificate for 15 hours of continuing education (completing the coursework by September 5th)

“Learning in Nature” offers four multi-media lessons specially designed to inspire and guide you in creating or expanding the outdoor elements of your early childhood program. Receive a new lesson each Wednesday utilizing videos, new written material, links to related reading, and suggestions for further resources.

Among the topics we’ll cover:

Week One: Relationship based Care in the Outdoors

Why is outdoor exploration and learning beneficial? We’ll explore several types of outdoor environments for inspiration – childcare settings, preschool/kindergarten classes, and parent-child programs.

Week Two: Outdoor Environments

What are the practical and inspirational aspects of a nourishing, safe and engaging outdoor environment whether part-day or all day?

Week Three: Bringing the Living Arts Outdoors

We’ll explore how to offer the foundations of practical activity, nurturing care, creative exploration and social awareness in an outdoor setting, as well as establishing a healthy rhythm that builds resilience and wellness.

Week Four: Health and Safety

In week four, we’ll discuss how to offer a safe environment outdoors. We’ll explore not only physical safety but also soul safety, and the safety provided within the context of relationship-based care. Licensing and other regulatory concerns will also be addressed.

How will this course work?

In this “guided” LifeWays online course a new lesson will be released each Wednesday.  You can work on the lessons at your own pace and at the times which work best for you, as that lesson will never go away.  Also, the discussions evolve throughout the entire course.  There is no deadline, except if you are requesting a Certificate for Hours of Continuing Education (September 5th).    Any video presentations are prerecorded so you won’t miss a thing!  This course is “guided” in that new discussions will emerge that are unique to THIS course offering and THIS group of students, and your course instructors will be participating along the way.  There will be much to discover and to share.  We hope you join us!

Refund Policy: Fees will be refunded in full up to 7 days prior to the start of the course, and at 50% if student cancels enrollment less than a week in advance. Fees are nonrefundable after the start of the course.

Cost $150. Register online below. After payment, you will be sent to a Thank You page with the link to the course and to the FREE video, “Forest Kindergarten” featuring an outdoor program at LifeWays Early Childhood Center in Milwaukee, WI