The benefits of nature play are proven, but sometimes parents don’t know where to begin.
- Children who spend time in nature are healthier. Outdoor play increases fitness and builds healthy bodies.
- Outdoor environments are important to children’s development of independence and autonomy.
- Nature play improves children’s social skills and results in higher academic achievement.
- Children who spend time in nature have better language skills, more self-discipline and competency skills.
- Learning outside increases students’ ability to think critically and creatively.
"If we want our children and grandchildren to connect with nature today, we’ll need to be more proactive than in the past, when electronic devices did not dominate our culture," said Sue Bierlich, ENC Nature Preschool Director. "We need to encourage our kids to leave their electronic devices behind and play the old fashioned way – build forts, dig tunnels to China, make mud pies, smell damp bark, eat wild berries, listen to the variety of bird songs, and sit under trees to observe insects live out their lives in miniature worlds."
5:30-5:45pm: Check In
5:45pm-6:00pm: Welcome/Intro – Bo Glover, ENC Executive Director
6:00pm-6:30pm: Hummingbird Parenting – Sue Bierlich, ENC Nature Preschool Director
6:30pm-7:00pm: Speaker & light meal – Jill Johnson, Preschool Teacher & Accidental Activist
7:00pm-7:30pm: Nature Play Activity "Mud Kitchen" – Valerie Bain & Sue Bierlich
7:30pm: Debrief/Announcements (Wine & S’mores at the Fire pit)