• Nurturing a Child’s Sense of Wonder – parent/family discussion groups
  • Nature-based Play and Learning Professional Learning Workshops Series – for early childhood educators and childcare professionals
  • Nature-based Story Times and Outdoor Play – in partnership with libraries, recreation programs and others

Helping early childhood professionals nurture a child’s sense of wonder and sense of place.

Regular free time in natural settings is an important part of healthy child development. Nature-based play enhances children’s learning, health and overall quality of life. Yet children today spend less time outdoors than any previous generation.

Knee High Nature (KHN) professional development workshops engage early childhood educators in the best practices for authentic play in nature and the learning that it fosters for children. And so much research demonstrates the many important benefits of nature-based play and learning; click here for a report on this research.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

Four Winds’ Nature-based Play and Science Learning PLCs support early childhood professionals as leaders, leverage local resources and community connections, and make lasting changes in practice. Each PLC provides 12-15 contact hours of professional development. These multi-session workshops include small group discussion, time outside, pre-reading and reflection, and action steps. Join a PLC in your area! For more information, contact khn@fwni.org

  • Sense of Wonder/Sense of Self Professional Learning Workshop series (PLC) – description and topics
  • Nature-based Play and Learning workshops – Rutland County Head Start, Rutland VT
  • Nature-based Play and Learning PLC – Addison County Parent Child Center, Middlebury VT
  • Nature-based Play and Learning PD workshops – Starksboro, VT
  • Sense of Wonder/Sense of Self PLC – Barrington, NH



Four Winds’  Nurturing a Child’s Sense of Wonder family/parent discussion groups aim to support those wanting time in nature to be part of every child’s childhood. These conversations are for adults interested in spending more time outside playing and learning with youngsters. Held in partnership with local libraries, parent child centers, churches, recreation departments and other community hosts, each discussion group convenes for three 1½ hour sessions via online conferencing and/or in-person gatherings and includes presentation, conversation, and outdoor activities. Participation in each workshop is limited to 12 adults. Using ideas and excerpts from the book  Adventure, Play, Peace by Nancy Bower to prompt discussion and inspire outdoor play, the conversations focus on strategies to nurture the social and emotional well-being of all children (and adults, too!). Contact khn@fwni.org for information about a discussion group in your community.

Upcoming Programs

  • Nurturing A Child’s Sense of Wonder Discussion Series with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier – May 1 6:30-8:00pm; May 15 6:30-8:00pm; May 22 4:30-5:30pm. 
  • Outdoor Playgroup with the Lamoille Family Center – May 12 9:30-11:00am.
  • Nature Play for Little Ones at the Morrill Homestead – June 18 10:30-12:00pm.

KHN Resources

Visit our Tools + Resources page for resources, curriculum recommendations, books, and other content to help you explore outdoor play opportunities and how it benefits children.

Want to create a nature playspace or add more opportunities for nature play into each day? You will love this Recipe for Nature Play presentation by landscape designer Elizabeth Cooper!

Link to Password Protected Material

To learn more, download our KHN brochure or email khn@fwni.org.