Increasing numbers of children are losing contact with the natural world. To address this, The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) aims to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education. The NLI is based at NC State University, North Carolina, USA, but make many of their resources freely available to anyone around the world.
Here are some great resources to start with:
- NLI InfoSheets. There are nine NLI InfoSheets in English, and most are also available in Spanish. I particularly liked the Top Ten Activity Settings InfoSheet, which is in full colour and five pages long.
- Publications. NLI make nearly 30 publications freely available, although you may need to enter a name and e-mail address before downloading. My favourite is a 2012 book entitled Nature Play At Home: A Guide for Boosting Children’s Healthy Development and Creativity. This book is in full colour and is 46 pages long.
- NLI have an excellent weblinks page including many Nature, Outdoor Play and Environmental websites.
One small improvement it would be good to see at NLI is clarity about copyright and licensing – for example, the Nature Play At Home book states that it can be shared or reproduced with attribution to NLI and NWF, a position that would be expressed more clearly in a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.
Visit The Natural Learning Initiative at: http://naturalearning.org/