Outdoor and Nature Play in Early Childhood Education, 1st edition

  • Beverlie Dietze
  • Diane Kashin

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Outdoor and Nature Play in Early Childhood Education is timely because of the new national and international research that reinforces the importance of outdoor play in the lives of children—for their health, wellness, dispositions, and connectedness to their childhood space and place. Outdoor play is so important to children’s daily living that we have written this book to present the core concepts about outdoor play that will support teachers in collectively examining outdoor play within their environments and beyond.


The text is rooted in the work of well-known theorists who have made invaluable contributions to early childhood education and who advocated for children to have access to play and learning outdoors. The text situates the discussion on the benefits of outdoor play and the breadth and depth of learning that occurs during outdoor play in a Canadian and local context.

Table of contents

Each chapter begins with childhood memories that are intended to be evocative for the reader followed by our vision for outdoor play today and information related to positioning outdoor play in the lives of children.

1. Introduction to Outdoor Play and Nature

2. Historical and Philosophical Foundation for Outdoor and Nature Play

3. Canadian and International Research on Outdoor Play

4. Loose Parts: Using Natural and Found Materials in Outdoor and Nature Play

5. The Relationship of Outdoor and Nature Play to Development, Health, Learning, and Thinking

6. Outdoor Play That Involves Challenge, Adventure, and Risk

7. Nature-based Early Learning Programs

8. Outdoor Classrooms and Natural Playgrounds

9. Aboriginal Learning and Outdoor Play, Nature, and the Environment

10. Children’s Outdoor Play and Environmental Sustainability

11. Programming from a Four Season Perspective

12. Supporting Families in Connecting Children’s Play to Their Development

13. Documentation and Assessment of Children’s Outdoor Play Spaces

Published by Pearson Canada (May 15th 2018) - Copyright © 2019