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"Magic Circle" Message from Debbie Green

Children Need Nature: The real value of PIC's Magic Circle Outdoor Classroom

 
A few years ago, I attended my very first workshop on nature playgrounds. While I have always loved taking children on trips to nature centers and to local parks with lots of greenery, I had never thought about the concept of a "nature playground." Attending that single workshop led to a complete change in my own thinking about what a playground can be.
 
Clearly the concept of "nature play" has caught on around the country. At this year's annual NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conference, instead of just a few workshops offered on the topic, there were countless sessions, and those sessions were standing-room-only!
 
Driven by significant new research on positive outcomes seen when children have sustained connections to nature play (and the converse negative effects of "nature deprivation"), this is clearly the new "hot topic" in early childhood education. 
 
Prior to coming to PIC, I was so pleased to hear that PIC was developing its own outdoor classroom. And now, as we are beginning the last stages of the Magic Circle, it is exciting to think about all of the opportunities that we have to take the lead on this topic in the Philadelphia early care and education community.
 
With the full vision of the Magic Circle Outdoor Classroom now within our reach, I wanted to share some resources on nature play and learning.
 
 
Happy nature exploring!