Bright Ideas

New Journal Issue Focuses on Greening Early Childhood Education

Dale Herr

It is common knowledge that playing outdoors and exploring in nature is good for kids, but what exactly do they gain from getting dirty? This special issue of Children, Youth and Environments explores the research behind the idea. Specifically it examines the outcomes associated with bringing nature into early childhood education and child care centers and the benefits it provides for early development. 
The issue includes: research articles on the benefits and impacts of engagement with nature and naturalized school grounds on child development, “reports from the field” describing initiatives that improve the quality of child care settings through outdoor learning, and a personal essay by David Sobel detailing the value of nature preschools and kindergartens (see a full list of articles below).
Click here to view this issue of Children, Youth and Environments. And be sure to keep an eye out for the final issue, Volume 24(3), 2014 that will also have a special section continuing on the theme of Greening Early Childhood Education.



About the Journal

Children, Youth and Environments (CYE) is an international, multidisciplinary online journal that disseminates knowledge with the goal of stimulating discussion and action in support of inclusive, sustainable, and healthy environments for children and youth everywhere. For more information and earlier issues please click here


Full List of Articles

The Benefits of Children's Engagement with Nature: A Systematic Literature Review (pp. 10-34)
Tim Gill
A Post-Occupancy Study of Nature-Based Outdoor Classrooms in Early Childhood Settings (pp. 35-52) 
Samuel F. Dennis, Jr., Alexandra Wells and Candace Bishop
Dramatic Play Affordances of Natural and Manufactured Outdoor Settings for Preschool-Aged Children (pp. 53-77)
Kimberly K. Cloward Drown and Keith M Christensen
Nature's Role in Children's Spiritual Development (pp. 78-101) 
Deborah Schein
Taking Kindergartners Outdoors: Documenting Their Explorations and Assessing the Impact on Their Ecological Awareness (pp. 102-122) 
Enid Elliot, Kayla Ten Eycke, Sharon Chan and Ulrich Müller
Making “Eco-Waves”: Early Childhood Care and Education Sustainability Practices in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 123-145) 
Iris Duhn and Jenny Ritchie
Nature Playscapes as Contexts for Fostering Self-Determination (pp. 146-167) 
Leslie Kochanowski and Victoria Carr
Growing Up Green and Healthy: Naturalization as a Health Promotion Strategy in Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments (pp. 168-191) 
Robin Moore and Nilda Cosco
What Can We Learn through Careful Observation of Infants and Toddlers in Nature? (pp. 192-214) 
Ellen Hall, Summer Linnea Howe, Sarah Roberts, Lauren Foster Shaffer and Emily Williams
The Challenges of Bringing the Waldkindergarten Concept to North America (pp. 215-227)
Regina Wolf Fritz, Kirsten Smyrni and Katie Roberts
Learning to Walk between the Raindrops: The Value of Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens (pp. 228-238)  
David Sobel


research, Nature Preschools