Family Resources

Early Childhood and Nature Free Play

In recent years, studies have found evidence for what we at The Nature Institute have known all along: unstructured play and exploration in nature is crucial to the developing human brain. We put together some resources to help you and your little ones get outside, whether that’s at TNI or in your own backyard. The following articles discuss the importance of nature play to healthy development:

Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature

Get Out of the Classroom and Into Nature: The Importance of Nature Play in Child Development

Outdoor learning and green time: How kids benefit from learning and playing in nature

The importance of outdoor play for young children’s healthy development

Want to take a deeper dive into nature play? Check out the resources below.

Outdoor Exploration for School Age Children

Printable Activities

We have created some fun, nature based activities to print and bring with you on your next adventure. These work great for ages 5+, and are good for an individual child or a group. Try them out next time you’re at TNI!

Trees in Spring Scavenger Hunt

Sound Mapping

Tree Trail Brochure