Bright Ideas

Top Five Stories of 2014

Natural Start

We were curious about what stories most engaged our readers in 2014, so we looked it up. Here's your chance to catch up on any you might've missed. 

In addition, one of our most popular posts on Facebook this year was about the call for presenters for the Nature-Based Preschool National Conference, which is sure to be a big story in 2015.

So much to look forward to next year. In the meantime, enjoy this look back at the greatest hits of 2014!


1. Engaging Children in STEM Education EARLY!

Environmental education and STEM education overlap significantly when teaching young children. For both types of education, getting outside to explore the natural world are central features.


2. Can This Industrial Designer Get Children Back Outside?

Here's an idea that caught our eye: A new invention from a young designer who hopes her invention will spur children to play outdoors with sticks.


3. A Celebration of Sticks (and Rocks and Pinecones)

Loose parts stimulate creative play, and nature is one of the best sources for low-cost, high-value loose parts.



4. Making Mud Kitchens

British early childhood nature education expert Jan White argues that mud kitchens are low-cost, easy, and fun spaces for children to play and develop.



5. Flow Learning in a Forest Kindergarten

At Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten on Vashon Island, Washington, the forest is the classroom.