Discover how the natural world supports healthy, playful child development for the tender little ones in your care. This nature-based training will inspire and equip you with new approaches to help infants and toddlers make connections with nature. You can expect hands-on sessions that are indoors and out! Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs specifically with infants and toddlers.
This training is ideal for caregivers, educators, and others working with children birth through three years old. Attendees join from all kinds of early learning settings - from childcare centers, in-home daycare, and other early care settings. Light breakfast and lunch are included, but bring your canteen for drinks. In addition to fantastic workshops, you'll get a tour of the nature play space at Homewood ELC, which is managed by the Downtown Baltimore Child Care.
ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event (pending MSDE clock hour approval). Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!
We thank our hosts at Homewood Early Learning Center and the Downtown Baltimore Child Care Center for making this workshop possible!
Keynote: Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, M.Ed. Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools
Earth, Sun, Wind, Water: The Goodness of Nature-Based Learning for Infants and Toddlers
Healthy bodies, minds, and spirits thrive in nature. Infants and toddlers benefit from exploring the very earth elements that surround us. This keynote examines some of the research that supports the vital benefits of nature play on infant and toddler growth and development.
Sensory Play, Nature’s Way
Sue Penix, Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center
Infants and toddlers learn best through sensory play experiences. Nature offers a rich abundance of sensory stimuli just waiting for our littlest learners to explore. In this session we will take a look at how you can incorporate nature-based sensory experiences in fun and meaningful ways to enhance infant and toddler development.
Two Journeys Towards Becoming Nature-Based Programs
Jennifer Dorsey, M.Ed; A World of Friends School and Celeste Joyner, Children’s College
We will take you through our journeys transitioning from traditional programs to nature-based programs that meet the needs of our students and families. We will discuss curriculum, assessment, and the physical space that we have created for our students. Other highlights include parent engagement and ways we have supported staff during the transition to a different way of thinking and teaching our students.
First Impressions In Nature
Kelly Vogelpohl, Robinson Nature Center
It’s never too early to begin cultivating positive nature experiences with young children. At Robinson Nature Center, we recognize that our early childhood interactions with nature often shape the way we see our natural world as we grow into adulthood. In this session, attendees will learn strategies and activities that we use in our Babes in Backpacks and Toddler Time programs, to engage little ones from just a few months through two years, in nature-based learning. Participants will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with commonly misunderstood creepy crawlies.
Wild Wee Ones: Bringing Babies Outdoors
Atiya Wells, Backyard Basecamp at BLISS Meadows
What does developmentally appropriate nature-based learning look like in the early years? This workshop will describe the cohesive relationship between childhood milestones, stages of play, and play schemas. Participants will apply these principals in order to develop a supportive learning work plan in these areas.
Mindful Movement for Toddlers
Daniella Bacigalupa, Baltimore Yoga Village
From the moment human beings are born, we yearn for movement. In this workshop, you will learn techniques to facilitate healthy movement for young toddlers. This session is based in the Yogic philosophy that every living being, no matter how old, is infinite. You will learn how to bring together nature and movement in creative and fun ways.
Self-Care Networking Session
Presented by ERAFANS
Mingle with other attendees as you choose from self-directed projects that promote wellness. Projects include: homemade lavender play dough, painting with natural pigments, and ‘Y’ branch weaving.
Ready to join us? REGISTER NOW!
Learn more about our payment and refund policies here. Thank you for joining us!