Bright Ideas

Resources from the Community

Natural Start Staff


Check out these great resources! Covering topics such as anti-racism and outdoor learning during the pandemic, these resources were shared by members of our community and by organizations that we follow.


eeGuidance for School Reopening

Check out this amazing new FREE publication from NAAEE, developed in collaboration with members of NAAEE’s state Affiliate Network. With ideas on how schools can use school grounds and beyond for learning, suggestions for how schools can partner with community-based environmental and outdoor education programs, and much more, this guide presents information and strategies that can help schools to equitably reopen during and after the COVID-19 crisis.


Green Schoolyards of America-Outdoor Learning Resource Library

Green Schoolyards America has compiled an extensive library of resources for taking learning outdoors in response to COVID-19. With everything from case studies of programs that have already made the transition outside to resources on outdoor site design and planning frameworks--this is a must use resource for schools considering more outdoor learning upon reopening this fall.


Inside-Outside Outdoor Learning Position Statement

Inside-Outside: Nature-based Educators of New England advisors came together to create a position statement urging educators to take learning outdoors this school year. Complete with an outdoor half-day sample schedule, ideas for community-based learning, and suggestions for how to extend outdoor time during the school day, this resource can help schools pivot to teaching and learning in outdoor environments this fall.


MnECO (Minnesota Early Childhood Outdoors)-Survey on Early Childhood & School-Age Outdoor Learning Needs During COVID

If you are located in Minnesota and are thinking about starting or shifting to an outdoor learning model, take this survey to sign up to receive a toolkit from MnECO. Toolkits are available for Family Child Care, School Based Child Care, and Preschools and Child Care Centers. 


MnECO-Why Nature?

Why Nature? Are you curious what the research says? Or do you want a go-to source for some of the most recent as well as some favorite older articles that make the case for nature-based learning in schools? Check out this resources from MnECO. 


NAEYC’s Young Children July Issue: Trauma-Informed Care

The July issue of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) peer-reviewed journal, Young Children, focuses on strategies and approaches for helping children who have experienced trauma. As schools reopen, supporting young children’s social-emotional health will be more important than ever.


Outdoor Preschool Equity Toolkit

The Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative has launched a brand new resource: the Outdoor Preschool Equity Toolkit. This resource was designed for current preschool providers to highlight best practices that schools are doing around the state of Oregon to help families overcome financial, logistical, and cultural barriers to accessing nature-based and outdoor preschools.


Practitioner Guide to Assessing Connection to Nature

Are you interested in measuring and understanding a population’s connection to nature? Do you want to know if your program has influenced your participants’ connection to nature? Check out the Practitioner Guide to Assessing Connection to Nature, a new resource from NAAEE, available for free download. 


Representation Matters: Addressing the Lack of Black Children in Books About Nature

Representation matters. And when it comes to seeing themselves represented in books about exploring nature and the outdoors, black children are not being represented. 

Tinkergarten-17 Resources to Help Parents Raise Anti-Racist Kids

From Tinkergarten- "As parents, it is our responsibility to raise kids who are prepared to fight for racial justice. It is a daunting task and we all need to find the resources to help us do it right. This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s a start. Please feel free to comment with any additional resources we should consider."


The Trek-Resources for Education & Inclusivity in the Outdoor Industry

Let’s face it, the outdoor education field has some work to do. We can all stand to educate ourselves on the challenges that exist for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) outdoors (both past and present) and evolve our behaviors to be more inclusive and welcoming. This list shares ideas of what to read, watch, listen to, where to donate, and who to follow for a path to a more equitable future for the field.


Wilder Child-Decolonizing Nature Connection Resources

Check out Wilder Child's resource “Decolonizing Nature Connection: Resources for raising anti-racist nature lovers." The list includes links to diverse children’s books, books for adults, articles, curriculum, diverse and equity-minded organizations to follow, and more.