Upcoming Training Sessions
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 and 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.
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.
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.