Upcoming Training Sessions

Supporting Unstructured Outdoor Play in Early Years Settings

With internationally acclaimed Angela Hanscom, author of Balanced and Barefoot

Workshop Opening and Keynote Presentation: The Decline of Play Outdoors – And the Rise in Sensory Issues
As we continue to decrease children’s time and space to move and play outdoors, we are seeing a simultaneous rise in the number of children that are presenting with sensory and motor deficits. At the same time, classroom teachers are observing more and more children having trouble with attention, falling out of their seats in school, increased clumsiness, and even aggressiveness with games like tag on the playground.
Morning Workshop: Unveiling the Therapeutic Potential of Outdoor Play – Participants will get the opportunity to engage in a TimberNook experience first-hand. Afterward they will learn how to analyze the therapeutic components of outdoor play – allowing participants to comprehend the impact outdoor play has on child development at a deeper level.
Afternoon Workshop Free Play: How to Inspire Kids to Play Independently – This workshop will discuss the environment and its critical role in inspiring creative play experiences for children. Participants will learn the “key ingredients” that go into preparing outdoor settings that foster independent play in both the home and school environment.

Date: October 28 2017

Location: St. Catharines Museum (Lock 3) Lockview Room; 1932 Welland Canals Parkway, St. Catharines ON

Cost: With book, $125; Without book, $80

Click here to read more and/or register online with credit card, or contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org.

Investigating the Theories of Play and the Principles of Playwork Series: Removing the Barriers to Play

In this second session in the series, participants will be introduced – in a playful way – to some of the underpinning theories of Playwork. These will include flexible environments, intervention strategies to facilitate the play process, and responding to children’s play cues to support free play and to remove barriers to play.

Date: November 9 2017

Location: ECCDC Conference Centre, 3340 Schmon Parkway, Thorold ON

Cost: $45 includes materials and nutrition breaks

Click here to read more and/or register online with credit card, or contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org.

Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul

With internationally renowned Playscape Designer Rusty Keeler!

Morning Workshop
Adventure Play and Natural Playscapes: 10 Ways to Bring Nature and Safe Risk Back to the Lives of Children: Join Rusty for an engaging session exploring the movement to reconnect children through play and natural play spaces. Educators will explore strategies for creating amazing, low-cost, nature-rich play environments that inspire children’s imagination and discovery. This morning workshop will provide opportunities to preview forest schools, natural playscapes, and adventure playgrounds that say “Yes!” to children’s play and find ways to bring in loose play materials, let kids climb trees, dig in the mud, construct their own worlds and more.

Afternoon Workshop
Educators will zip up their jackets as Rusty brings the workshop outdoors to explore a variety of natural loose parts. Whether we are hoping to transform a school yard, a park, or own backyards, Rusty will support us. Throughout the day Rusty will share exciting photos, videos and stories that will inspire participants to transform their own outdoor spaces with the motto: Dream Big, Start Small, and Never Stop!”

Date: April 7 2018

Location: Ball's Falls Conservation Area, 3292 Sixth Avenue, Jordan (Lincoln) ON, L0R 1S0

Cost: $125 includes the workshop sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, and a copy of Rusty’s book Seasons of Play OR $80 includes the workshop sessions, continental breakfast and lunch

Click here to read more and/or register online with credit card, or contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org.

Exploring Nature Through Creative Experiences

This outdoor, hands-on workshop will explore how educators can incorporate creative opportunities and nature-based experiences into their early learning and child care environments which utilize the readily available gifts that Mother Nature has afforded us. This workshop will support educators to connect with the outdoor environment and minimize the impact that materials, children, and educators have on the environment. Participants will have an opportunity to discover how the natural outdoor environment acts as the Third Educator and develop a range of activities that will engage children and encourage them to respect the natural world all around them.

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Cost: TBD

Did you know this session can be delivered anywhere in Ontario? Contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org for more information or to request a quote.

The ECCDC's Top 20 Strategies for Naturalizing Your Early Learning Environments

This workshop is specially designed to support educator teams in designing innovative indoor and outdoor environments. Participants will receive 20 of our best strategies in bringing natural, open-ended materials into early learning environments. Additionally, the workshop will provide opportunities for educators to consider how to plan and set up environments that foster child centred learning both indoors and outdoors while incorporating the values of the children, families and staff.

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Cost: TBD

Did you know this session can be delivered anywhere in Ontario? Contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org for more information or to request a quote.

Bringing Nature Education to Your Playground: A Four-Part Professional Learning Series

Session One – Educators will explore the benefits of children having opportunities to engage in outdoor experiences, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Ontario Children’s Outdoor Charter, play types, the difference between an experience and an activity, theory of Loose Parts, Messing About, and Higher Order Thinking Prompts through practical, hands-on experiences that educators can utilize in their early learning settings.
Session Two – Educators will have conversations around the importance of risk in play and risk-benefit analysis, knowledge to share when speaking to licensing, playground inspectors, linking the four foundations to the outdoor space, extending the use of children’s interests, and engaging families and fellow educators on the transition to a naturalized play space through practical, hands-on experiences that prompt educators’ thinking.
Session Three – Educators will engage in experiences linked to air and earth, two of the four natural elements, through Messing About, utilizing Higher Order Thinking Prompts and A Thinking Lens,® for Reflection and Inquiry, hands-on experiences, dispelling myths, identifying skills developed through play types, and health and safety concerns.
Session Four – Educators will engage in experiences linked to water and fire, the remaining two natural elements, through Messing About, discussion of comfort levels with offering experiences, reflecting on current experiences offered, reviewing risk-benefit analysis, and a whole group experience reflecting on series learning.

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Cost: TBD

Did you know this session can be delivered anywhere in Ontario? Contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org for more information or to request a quote.

Niagara's Nature Alliance Network

The Niagara Nature Alliance is an opportunity to bring those with an interest in naturalized play spaces together for an informal meeting on a regular basis to share ideas, information and create connections.   The hope is to allow a continuous and open forum to dialogue about natural spaces. Visit the Niagara Nature Alliance webpage for more information and activities of the network.

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Cost: No cost

Contact the ECCDC at 905-646-7311 or eccdc@eccdc.org for more information.