Teachers Training ClassesEdit

  • TrackersBay - Bay Area - Outdoor & Environmental Educators Training Program
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training - supports youth workers and teachers with training, gear, transportation, funding and the support of a community of peers. Once someone has participated in their training, they have unlimited and free access to our gear libraries, located in Oakland, Milpitas and San Francisco. They also rent out our BawtMobiles - minivans enabling teachers to get their youth outdoors.
  • Leave No Trace - teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
  • River of Words - trains teachers, park rangers, youth leaders, and other educators around the world to incorporate nature and the arts into their work with children and teens.
  • People's Grocery - Edible Education - People's Grocery’s Nikki Henderson has teamed up with Michael Pollan and the Chez Panisse Foundation to offer the following course at UC Berkeley. We look forward to all of the lessons learned from presenters, students, and the public. This is a unique opportunity to engage many parts of the food movement and those who are part of the food system.
  • The UC Botanical Garden Education Program, in collaboration with staff from the Lawrence Hall of Science, has developed Growing Learning Communities (GLC), a project to strengthen the knowledge, teaching skills and leadership capabilities of local elementary school teachers and out-of-classroom educators through professional development linked to school gardens as outdoor science and mathematics labs.
  • Exploring a Sense of Place Teachers’ Workshop is a program that gives people an opportunity to participate in constructive ways in response to our current Earth challenges, while both enriching their own lives and the life of their community. Cost: $30.
  • - Offers teachers, parents and childcare provides with inexpensive classes. They have a Nature as our Playground series.


  • East Bay Regional Parks - Offers a limited bus service for school trips. Focus on low income schools.
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training - They rent out our BawtMobiles - minivans enabling teachers to get their youth outdoors. Teachers must attend the training to have access to the transportion.

Reference MaterialsEditEdit




  • Sensory Integration and the Child: 25th Anniversary Edition by Jane Ayres
  • The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson, Photographs by Charles Pratt — Details Carson's philosophy that adults need to nurture a child's inborn sense of wonder about the natural world.
  • The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. He makes a convincing case that through a nature-balanced existence—driven by sound economic, social, and environmental solutions—the human race can and will thrive. This timely, inspiring, and important work will give readers renewed hope while challenging them to rethink the way we live.
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. This booked defined the "Leave No Child Inside" movement.
  • Children & Nature Network Recommend Reading List
  • Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area – Laure Latham (local author)Latham presents the best family trails throughout the entire Bay Area. Latham developed her list of hikes not just through personal experience, but also by interviewing local mom groups to hear what families really want when they go hiking.
  • Exploring a Sense of Place – Karen Harwell and Joanna Reynolds (local authors), How to create your own local program for reconnecting with Nature is a guidebook to help you with your own process of discovery and reconnection with the natural world where you live. This book will inspire you and give you all the practical tools you need to design, develop, organize, and produce an Exploring a Sense of Place program specific to your own bioregion.
  • Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors – David Sobel -When David Sobel’s children were toddlers, he set out to integrate a wide range of nature experiences into their family life, play, and storytelling.This book is Sobel’s vivid and moving memoir of their journey and an inspiring guide for other parents who seek to help their children bond with the natural world.
  • Play and Learning in the Early Years by Justine Howard and Elizabeth Wood
  • Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth by Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek - "Why is it that the best and brightest of our children are arriving at college too burned out to profit from the smorgasbord of intellectual delights that they are offered? Why is it that some preschools and kindergartens have a majority of children struggling to master cognitive tasks that are inappropriate for their age? Why is playtime often considered to be time unproductively spent?"
  • The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children by David Elkind - "In modern childhood, free, unstructured play time is being replaced more and more by academics, lessons, competitive sports, and passive, electronic entertainment. While parents may worry that their children will be at a disadvantage if they are not engaged in constant, explicit learning or using the latest "educational" games, David Elkind's The Power of Play reassures us that unscheduled imaginative play goes far in preparing children for academic and social success...."
  • From Neurons to Neighborhoods : The Science of Early Childhood Development by Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development, Youth, and Families Board on Children, Jack P. Shonkoff, Deborah A. Phillips, National Research Council, Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development - "How can we use our burgeoning knowledge to assure the well-being of all young children, for their own sake, as well as for the sake of our nation? Drawing from new findings, this book presents important conclusions about nature-versus-nurture, the impact of being born into a working family, the effect of politics on programs for children, the costs and benefits of intervention, and other issues...."
  • All Work and No Play...: How Educational Reforms Are Harming Our Preschoolers (Childhood in America) -"Educators, neurologists, and psychologists explain how the high-stakes testing movement, and the race to wire classrooms, is actually stunting our children's intellects, blocking brain development and sometimes fueling mental illness. These experts, including a Pulitzer-Prize nominee, explain why play is not a luxury, but rather a necessity of learning."
  • Play from Birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings by Doris Pronin Fromberg, Doris Bergen - In light of recent standards-based and testing movements, the issue of play in childhood has taken on increased meaning for educational professionals and social scientists. This second edition of Play From Birth to Twelve offers comprehensive coverage of what we now know about play, its guiding principles, its dynamics and importance in early learning.
  • Children's Play: The Roots of Reading by Edward Zigler, Dorothy G. Singer, Sandra J. Bishop-Josef - In "Children's Play", leading experts in play research, child development, and early childhood education examine recent policy decisions and demonstrate the importance of play in helping children learn basic literacy skills, social awareness, and creative problem solving. Readers will also find a comprehensive summary of the developmental benefits of play, examples of how research has been applied in practice, a multicultural perspective on play, and ideas for how to play imaginative games with children.
  • In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté, a celebrated Canadian doctor who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and Attention Deficit Disorder, will draw crucial connections among the health of the mind, body and human communities. His landmark book explores how our childhood experiences can program neurological and psychological mechanisms that can lead to addiction, abuse, ADHD and other disorders. Addressing them, he says, requires us to change our society so that it offers far better support to children and families. A pathfinder in mind-body medicine, Dr. Matédescribes how "adverse childhood experiences" (ACEs) can be reversed and healed.


  • Mother Nature's Child — Explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development through the experience of toddlers, children in middle childhood and adolescents.
  • The Nature of Cities - a one hour documentary about the projects and people in cities across the world who believe that, even as we become more urbanized - we must reclaim an essential piece of our humanness- our connection to the nature around us.
  • Growing Cities - Growing Cities is a documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat.


  • Wild About Nature blog — A fun-loving guide to the natural world for kids and adults.
  • Backyard Mama — Field notes from the backyard (r)evolution.
  • Slow Family Online - Blog to help families slow down. Enjoy lost arts, food, nature & each other. Trade frenzy for fun. Book out this summer: "Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World".
  • Family Adventure Project - Families adventure journies with kids. Site has great aventure ideas for families.
  • Frog Mom Frog Mom is one of the top San Francisco Bay Area mom/family blogs and offers readers family-friendly adventures, reads, travel, outdoors trips, events and ideas in the Bay Area and beyond. Frog Mom likes to travel with kids in tow so you’ll see quite a bit of overseas travel adventures too.


Nature Games and ActivitiesEdit

  • Nature Club for Families Toolkit - The purpose of this C&NN Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit: Do It Yourself! Do It Now! is to provide inspiration, information, tips and resources for those who are—or who might be—interested in creating a Nature Club for Families. In creating theTool Kit, we’ve drawn on what many other families have done and learned.
  • Nature Rocks - Ages: All - Free activity ideas: nature treasure hunts, nature games, geo-caching and much more.

Nature CurriculumEditEdit


  • Leave No Trace - large amount of wilderness training material provided for free.
  • EnviroScape - A series of portable hands-on models, EnviroScape® helps people of all ages, languages and cultures, better understand the sources and prevention of water pollution through visual, hands-on interaction.
  • 5 Gyres - Teaching & Lectures about Plastic Polultion in the Ocean.



Field Trips

  • East Bay Regional Park District — Naturalists lead programs at a number of parks throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
  • Randall Museum San Francisco — The Randall Museum offers interactive programs emphasizing science, the natural environment, and San Francisco history for kindergarten (age 5) through 18+.


  • Exploring a Sense of Place – Palo Alto - Exploring a Sense of Place offers opportunities for reconnection at all levels — Exploring a Sense of Place at home, in the community, in the bioregion, within the larger community of life and in the Universe. Our mission is to provide the means by which people anywhere on Earth can reconnect to the natural world where they live.
  • Alliance for Childhood
  • FCN - The National Forum on Children and Nature
  • Children in Nature Collaborative
  • Bay Nature
  • Project WET - water education
  • Nature in the City - San Francisco - organization dedicated to restoration & stewardship of San Francisco’s natural heritage, Nature in the City plays a critical role in securing our city’s wildlands for future generations.
  • World Wildlife Federation - Ideas on how to reconnect with nature and kids activities.
  • International Association for the Child’s Right to Play -The purposeof IPA USA is to protect, preserve, and promote play as a fundamental right for all humans.
  • Alliance for Childhood - Mission: The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living. Our public education campaigns bring to light both the promise and the vulnerability of childhood. We act for the sake of the children themselves and for a more just, democratic, and ecologically responsible future.