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Resources

ECHO is committed to providing the best resources available. Our collection of resources is curated to provide the most up-to-date reports, toolkits, research, and other information about connecting children to nature.

Arlitt

Guides and How-Tos

Get inspired! Learn how to create healthy, natural, and dynamic play spaces for young children.

Natural Learning Initiative's Green Desk

Visit the Green Desk for activities, tips, and other information about creating high quality, healthy outdoor environments for young children.

How-To Guides

Developed by the National Wildlife Federation, these How-To Guides provide all the information you need to get started on building select components for your outdoor learning environment.

Nature Play at Home

Developed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative, this guide shows easy, affordable ways you can turn your backyard or other types of domestic outdoor spaces into vibrant nature play spaces for children so they can reap the physical and mental benefits of playing outside. Creating natural play opportunities can be part of the solution to increasing the amount of time kids spend in the great outdoors for the health of their minds, bodies, and spirits.

Download the full Nature Play at Home guide above, or select a nature play space from our individual guides below:

Reports

Playing by the Rules | Colorado

A Practitioner's Guide to Rules, Regulations, and Rating Systems for Outdoor Learning Environments in Colorado Child Care Facilities

Nature Play Programs

Natural Learning Initiative

Through environmental design assistance, professional development, research, and education, the Natural Learning Initiative promotes the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children.

Children & Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network connects children, their families, and their communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration, and support of grassroots leadership.

National Wildlife Federation Programs

Garden for Wildlife

By creating habitat for wildlife, people can build a daily connection to the natural world, literally just outside their door.

Schoolyard Habitats

Schools can create and restore wildlife habitat on school grounds while providing outdoor classrooms for learning across curricula. 

Butterfly Heroes

By pledging to create new habitats for monarch butterflies, Butterfly Heroes are bringing awareness to the declining monarch population and connecting gardeners, kids, and families to help monarchs and other pollinators.

Ranger Rick Kids

For more than 50 years, Ranger Rick publications have inspired children to connect with wildlife and the great outdoors through a wide range of outdoor activities that are both fun and explorative.

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