"WONDER-lings" Nature-based Early Childhood Training & Certification Program 

Thank you to our amazing partners!! 

Program Overview

Nature Niños is proud to announce our "WONDER-lings" Nature-based Certification program for Early Childhood professionals, launching in Fall 2020! The WONDER-lings program aims to assist professionals working with young children in discovering the joy of WONDER in nature together. We will learn how to support Wonder & Observation in Nature, as well as children's Discovery, Exploration & Reflection, using nature as a Third Teacher. Teaching with nature as an ally is proven to increase health, creativity, problem-solving, and social-emotional growth in young children, just as similar Outdoor/ Environmental Education programs have a markedly positive impact on older learners. Nature Preschools and "Forest Kindergartens" are increasing in popularity in the United States and this is in part because numerous educators have begun to remember what we have known for millennia: Young children "naturally" learn and grow best while playing outdoors, year-round, in all weather, alongside peers, supported by nurturing adults. This training program, consisting of one module per month for 12 months, along with a self-selected "Harvest Project" completed under the mentorship of Nature Niños staff, will prepare the professional to bring nature into existing programs, as well as bring children out into nature, both nearby and further afield. The program will be co-facilitated by two accomplished educators, with significant contributions shared by other local and national partners. 

Professionals supporting young children in any capacity are welcome to train with us, as well as anyone wanting to work with young children in nature (although we do recommend a minimum of at least 2 years of direct experience with littles if former schooling or a degree has not been obtained).


If you choose to participate in all 12 modules you're on the road to a Nature Niños Mentor Certification! Full certification is an approx 6-hour commitment per month. However, modules 1-9 are offered ala cart! If you aren't interested in the complete certification feel free to pick and choose what fits your needs.

Module 1: Nature & a Sense of Place (Sept '20)

Module 2: Nature as Third Teacher (Oct '20)

Module 3: Teacher as Researcher (Nov '20)

Module 4: Image of the Child in Nature (Dec '20)

Module 5: Exploring Theory in Practice through Virtual Program Tours & Shared Stories (Jan '21)

Module 6: Learning with Natural Loose Parts and Art & Ecology in Early Childhood (Feb'21)

Module 7: Bringing Nature IN (March '21)

Module 8: Bringing Children OUT (April '21)

Module 9: Supporting Risky, Adventurous, Outdoor Play in Early Childhood (May '21)

Module 10: Connecting Early Learning Guidelines / Common Core to Nature-based Early Childhood Programming (June '21)

Module 11: Growing Your Own Nature Ninos Wonderling's Program (July '21)

Module 12: Fistfuls of Acorns & Cherry Tomatoes: Sharing Our Stories of Success (Aug '21)


  • $25 - One Time Registration Fee
  • $275- Full Certification (In-State)
  • $375- Full Certification (Out of State)
  • $25- Per modules ala carte

If you have cost concerns please reach out to Sarah Candelaria (click HERE). Nature Niños has a hand full of scholarships that we are able to offer to cover the full/partial cost of the certification. 

 No refunds will be given once class has started.