Eco-Healthy Childcare

Our Nature Explore Classroom

Green Sprouts, LLC Receives National Certification

Nature Explore Classroom

We are excited to announce that we have earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Green Sprouts, LLC joins a growing network of organizations and institutions that have created effective nature-based outdoor learning environments for children. This network allows for idea-sharing, peer support and continuous development. More information on Green Sprouts, LLC may be found here.

Nature Explore Classrooms are part of the Nature Explore program, a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation developed in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature. Certified Nature Explore Classrooms help fill the void by integrating research-based outdoor learning opportunities into children’s daily lives.

“Green Sprouts, LLC has shown tremendous leadership in growing the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore Outreach Director. “Their commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to educators throughout the country.”

The classrooms, which are being developed across the country, offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden or pathway areas and natural materials for building and creating art. Children who learn and grow in Certified Nature Explore Classrooms enhance concentration, develop creativity and problem-solving, relieve stress and improve skills in many areas of development.

Outdoor classrooms that are designed according to standards and principles described in Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s Learning With Nature Idea Book are eligible to become certified Nature Explore Classrooms. A new guidebook, At Home With Nature: Creating Nature Explore Playscapes for Families, helps parents bring the same research-based approach to learning in nature to their own children at home.

The first Nature Explore Classroom is located in the Tree Adventure attraction at Arbor Day Farm, the Arbor Day Foundation’s interactive conservation venue in Nebraska City, Nebraska. More information on the program can be found at natureexplore.org, on Facebook or on the Nature Explore community blog.
About Arbor Day Foundation: Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation is available at arborday.org.

About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation: The mission of the non-profit Dimensions Educational Research Foundation is to inspire children, families and educators to connect more deeply with the world around them by providing innovative, research-based programs and resources.

Less is more

Less talking more observing
Less clutter more minimalistic
Less intervening more focus
Less teacher initiated, more child initiated
Less praise, more encouragement
Less interruption, more concentration
It has been my observation over the years that children who have too many things have a harder time playing peacefully and learning to share than children who have less.

— Hammond, Ruth Anne. Respecting Babies: a New Look to Magda Gerber’s Approach. Zero to Three.
Washington, DC. 2009