Nature and Play-based Early Childhood Support

Nature Niños is now offering statewide Nature and Play-based Early Childhood support for public and private early childhood development centers. 

Nature Niños is proud to announce our Nature-based Teacher Certification program for Early Childhood professionals, launching in Fall 2020! Using the Natural World as a "co-teacher" is proven to increase creativity, problem-solving & social-emotional growth in young children just as similar Outdoor & Environmental Education programs have a markedly positive impact on older learners. Nature Preschools & "Forest Kindergartens" are increasing in popularity in the United States & this is in part because numerous educators have begun to remember what we have known for millennia: Young children "naturally" learn & grow best while playing outdoors, year round, in all weather, with their 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 Ninos staff, will prepare the Early Childhood professional to bring nature into existing programs, as well as bring children out into nature, either nearby, or somewhere further afield. Topics will include Nature Pedagogy & Place-based Program Models, Role of the Child, Role of the Educator, Role of the Outdoor Classroom as Third Teacher, Managing for Risky & Adventurous Play, Loose Parts Play Pedagogy, Curriculum Development, Supporting Pre-Academic Learning in Nature, Land Art & Creativity, Natural History for the Early Childhood Professional & Learning from Indigenous Cultures.

Completion of the year-long program will result in a Nature Niños certification and title as a "Nature Niños Mentor." As an alternative to the certification process, each module will also be offered individually allowing participants to hand select which topics appeal to them.

TEACHER TRAININGS: Sarah Candelaria, a Master Level II trainer on the NM Trainer Registry, & Sally Anderson, a master in the field of ECE, have a wide variety of Nature and Play-based Early Childhood professional development training created to offer to the ECE field. We are also able to custom design trainings per program's needs.  

IN-CLASS COACHING & NATURE PLAY Aside from professional development trainings, NMWF/Nature Niños staff are able to come and provide in-class coaching and nature play experiences with natural loose parts and environmental education projects to encourage a true and meaningful connection to nature within the classroom environment. 

NATURAL LOOSE PARTS LIBRARY In partnership with the City of Albuquerque Open Space, NMWF is able to loan out tubs of natural loose parts for nature play in Early Childhood classrooms around the state. Tubs can be borrowed in correspondence with an in-class coaching experience or professional development training. Tubs can be borrowed for up to 30 days. 

To request any type of Nature and Play-based Early Childhood support, please email Nature Niños below.