Autumn 2022
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Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees.”
-Richard Louv
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Child's Perspective

"It's a whole playground!"
Learn more about nature playscape design with a Recipe for Nature Playscape and this presentation by landscape designer and educator Elizabeth Cooper.

Ideas for Families in Autumn

David Sobel has identified seven play motifs, or recurring play patterns, while observing children playing freely in natural areas around the world. Read more here from Woeste Westen in the Netherlands.


Help milkweed seeds disperse! How far can you help them travel?

Fantasy and Imagination:

Find a stump puffball and incorporate it into a play or a special function for a fairy house.

Animal Allies:

Look for woolly bear caterpillars. Of the 13 segments, how many are brown and how many are black? Can you find a pattern?

Maps and Paths:

Rake leaves into a maze or spiral. Put a special treasure at the end for someone to find.

Special Places:

Set up a mashing station: Use a mortar and pestle to crush fruits, flowers, chalk - how do they transform? Wear a pair of safety goggles to keep your eyes safe.

Small Worlds:

Read Look What I Did with a Leaf! By Morteza E. Sohi or Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and create your own leaf creatures and their habitats.

Hunting and Gathering:

Make a collection of burdock seeds and stick them together to form a sculpture.

Natural History Mystery

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What is this gooey growth along a driveway?
The mystery will be unveiled in our blog tomorrow.


This study found that “spending one extra class period outdoors per week significantly reduced anxiety among third graders during a time when anxiety was peaking for other students.”

Places to Ramble

Explore these urban natural areas:
Pine Hill Park in Rutland and Crescent Woods in Burlington.
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