Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in May

The beginning of May is especially beautiful in our neck of the woods. Leaves emerge on trees, the grass seems to spring up another inch every day, and the seeds we’ve planted are all sprouting happily in the garden.

With so much new plant growth, it’s the perfect time to dive in to some basic botany exploration, and these eight great books offer a perfect framework for doing just that…

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Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in April

The official start of spring may be in March, but around here it's often in April when things start to really feel "springy."

On warm days the birdsong is surprisingly loud, and the trees are filled with busy birds, many of whom are beginning their nesting season. April is also a damp month for us, with frequent rainfalls helping to bring life back to the landscape. 

These eight great books focus on the themes of nesting and rainfall and offer a perfect jumping-off point for springtime exploration and investigation.

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5 Ways To Celebrate the Spring Equinox

The spring equinox marks the official beginning of spring, and the date on which day and night are roughly equal in length. Here in the Northern Hemisphere the days will continue to lengthen and the sun will continue to travel higher in the sky, leading up to the summer solstice.

With warmth, light, and life returning to the Earth, it’s a perfect time to head outdoors as a family and appreciate the beauty and magic of the season. Here are five of our favorite ways to celebrate the spring equinox…

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Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in March

After a long, cold winter, it's always a relief when March rolls around, bringing with it the first signs of spring!

There are few things that children love more than the chance to splash in puddles and squelch in the mud that invariably appears in my neck of the wood this time of year. There's something magical and invigorating about seeing life gradually returning to the landscape, and these eight great books all capture that feeling perfectly.

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The Ultimate List of Diverse & Inclusive Books to Support Nature-Based Learning

As Rudine Sims Bishop first noted back in 1990, books serve simultaneously as mirrors, windows, and sliding doors, reflecting the reader’s own experience and offering insight and access to the experiences of others.

Exposing children to books that include representations of a diverse array of characters and experiences fosters inclusivity, builds self-esteem, and promotes empathy. Yet all too often, parents, educators, and librarians struggle to find children’s books that properly represent the diversity of children in their care.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of high-quality books that both portray diverse characters and support nature-based learning.

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The Top 5 Educational Benefits of Nature Play

All too often we dismiss play as an extra, coming secondary to the more important work of learning. This is clearly seen in the drastic reduction in recess time for young children, and a shift away from play in the classroom, even at the preschool and kindergarten level. The problem with this mindset is that a growing body of research clearly demonstrates that for children, play is learning - perhaps the most important kind!

Taking play and learning outdoors on a regular basis isn’t just good for children’s health and wellbeing. It’s also been shown to build important cognitive and social-emotional skills and boost academic achievement. And children aren’t the only ones who benefit; added outdoor time is beneficial for parents and educators as well!

Check out our “Top 5 Educational Benefits of Nature Play” infographic for a look at some of the powerful advantages of outdoor play and learning!

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Q&A with Iksplor co-founder Karissa Akin

Karissa Akin and Kailey Gieck are the co-founders and sister duo behind Iksplor, a 100% merino wool clothing line for newborns and kids. Their mission is to create functional layers born for adventure, to help get kids get outside and stay outside longer! Iksplor is currently in the prototype phase, and Karissa and Kailey are excited to be building a community passionate about getting little ones outside in quality clothing that lasts!

At Wonderkin, we’re passionate about quality gear and highlighting female entrepreneurs and thought leaders working to advance the children’s nature play movement. We know you’ll enjoy learning more about Karissa’s story…

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Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in February

While it's easy to write off winter as a season where there just isn't that much going on outdoors, we’ve found the opposite to be true.

Though the ground may be frozen and the trees may be bare, the changed landscape offers a fresh perspective for observation of the natural world.

These eight great books all help foster appreciation for the natural wonder to be found at this time of year...

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DIY Owl Eye Viewer Tutorial

If you've ever had the good luck to spot an owl, you might have noticed that it appeared to be turning its head all the way around! Owls have the ability to rotate their heads close to 270 degrees. How come? Because there's something unique about their eyes...

Humans and most animals have eyes that are round like balls. That means we can look up, down, left, and right without having to move our head at all. Owls, on the other hand, have eyes shaped like tubes. As a result, they can't move their eyes, and have to move their entire head instead. 

By creating an owl eye viewer you can experience an owl’s range of vision firsthand…

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The Top 5 Developmental Benefits of Nature Play

After running a nature-based early childhood program for the past three years, I find myself so immersed in the world of nature play that I sometimes take for granted just how impactful regular outdoor play is on healthy development.

But on occasions when I find myself spending time with young children who don’t engage in regular outdoor exploration, the differences are striking…

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Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in January

In our neck of the woods we tend to get our first real snows in January, so it's the perfect time to pull out books that capture the magic of snowfall from a range of perspectives. I find that the richest learning occurs when children are presented with a combination of fact and fiction, helping deepen their naturalist knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts while also providing fodder for creative exploration and thematic dramatic play. These eight great books do just that...

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Peek Inside the Winter Wildlife Box

While it can seem like a quiet time of year, there are still plenty of opportunities for winter wildlife spotting, so long as you know what to look for -- and where to look for it. Many backyard birds, deer, rabbits, foxes, and other little creatures are still out and about during the winter months. Inspired by the activities in this box, bundle up, head outdoors, and start exploring the world of winter wildlife!

Here’s what you’ll find inside…

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5 Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice marks the official start of winter, as well as the shortest day of the year.

Although it can feel like a dark and dreary time, there’s still plenty of natural beauty to be found outdoors, as well as ample opportunities for creating your own warmth, light, and magic inside.

Here are five of our favorite ways to celebrate the winter solstice…

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Introducing The Wonderkin Nature Play Toolkit

One of the most common explanations I hear for why someone is hesitant to embrace more outdoor play time is that they simply don't feel prepared. And that makes sense - as grown ups we feel like we're supposed to be in control and have all the answers. 

The thing is, we can't control nature. That's why it can feel so intimidating to head outdoors with children in tow. But what we can do is be prepared to confidently address unexpected challenges while fostering deep play and meaningful learning. 

That's where the Wonderkin Nature Play Toolkit comes in.

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