The Great Outdoors: Advocating for Natural Spaces for Young Children, Revised Edition
About the Book
New delights and opportunities for learning await each time children venture outdoors. This updated and expanded edition of The Great Outdoors will inspire teachers to make it possible for children to spend more time outdoors, have safe environments, and be free to learn through exploration. This book
- Reviews why outdoor play matters for children, especially when it involves nature
- Explores the historical and contemporary inspirations and foundation for nature education
- Discusses ways to keep children safe outdoors, including minimizing sun exposure and other dangers
- Highlights the importance of nature experiences for children’s spiritual development
- Explores the necessity and challenges of creating child-friendly cities and environments
Each chapter ends with action items to improve children’s access to safe, clean, and interesting places in your community and is packed with resource ideas for further exploration. The Great Outdoors will enable you take up the challenge to advocate for enticing outdoor spaces for children.
Mary S. Rivkin, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research focuses on children’s outdoor play.
Deborah Schein, PhD, teaches at Champlain College and consults for the Agency of Jewish Learning in Pittsburgh. She is also a facilitator of the Young Children's Spirituality Interest Forum.
With The Great Outdoors, Mary Rivkin offers one of the clearest, most practical, most concise, and usable guides. We need this book, and others like it to come.
—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
This book is jam-packed with information to whet every teacher’s appetite for inclusion of outdoor activities as deeply important for young children. The authors provide the reasons why (what research teaches us about the benefits of nature experiences). They provide the how to carry out nature experiences.
—Alice Honig, professor emerita of child development, Syracuse University
The Great Outdoors takes the role of advocating for children’s lives outside the classroom seriously. The authors engage us with stories and offer straightforward advice, provoke us to think about nature and children’s spirituality, and share a vision of what could be happening in our centers and cities.
—John Nimmo, coauthor, Emergent Curriculum
This remarkable book is informative and inspiring. Its broad outlook includes research and practical applications and ranges from sunscreen to spiritual considerations. Momentum is growing for outdoor play, and this book will fuel the movement.
—Joan Almon, cofounder, Alliance for Childhood
This updated and expanded edition . . . [makes] the case for spending more time outdoors, creating safe environments, and using exploration in nature for physical, educational and spiritual enrichment. Armed with the research, Rivkin, along with colleague Deborah Schein, offer an inspiring set of practical applications . . . to advocate for outdoor play and children’s well-being.
—Green Teacher magazine