We wanted to assemble some resources for parents, teachers, and parent-teachers during this time of social distancing and staying at home.
First, the Campbell Creek Science Center has released a new Agents of Discovery mission all about birds and the secret life of trees. Download the app and head out to the BLM Campbell Tract to start exploring and learning! This game will help kids discover the great outdoors. Use the hints and clues from your surroundings to solve mysteries of nature, culture, and technology.
One simple way you can encourage outdoor learning is to take a walk outside and encourage children to interact with their local environment. Nature walks are a fun and easy way to bring your student-children outdoors, whether in your backyard, at a park, or at another local place of interest. Each nature walk offers something different for students to explore – even if you walk the same trails from one day to the next. Project Learning Tree offers 12 nature walk activities for grades k-12.
In the day and age of not being able to attend in person workshops, accessing professional development can be hard. Project Learning tree also offers workshops for parents, teachers, and parent-teachers. These online workshops are self-paced courses composed of several 20-30 minute learning experiences, called “coursels.” Each coursel has been designed using best practices in online learning and teacher professional development. They prepare educators to integrate environmental education materials into their instruction.
Lastly, Finding Nature and Each Other (https://www.rei.com/blog/stewardship/op-ed-finding-nature-and-each-other), a blog from renowned outdoor educator Richard Louv, offers ways of thinking through this challenging time, and what comes next: “This pandemic will either fracture or strengthen our relationships with nature and each other. Surely absence makes the heart grow fonder. Our post-pandemic challenge will not only be to preserve the last remaining natural places, but to create more of them, especially in cities—and to make sure all children and adults, not just a few, receive the gifts of nature.”