Recommended Readings

The Outdoor Classroom

  • Ready for reviewCultivating Outdoor Classrooms
    Eric Nelson, Redleaf Press, 2012
  • The Outdoor Classroom Program Development and Staff Training Guide
    Eric Nelson et al., Child Educational Center, 2006
  • NAEYC 2016 Conference Handouts

Outdoor Learning

  • Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education
    David Sobel, Orion Society, 1999
  • Growing With Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms
    Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational  Research Foundation, 2011
  • Lens On Outdoor Learning
    Wendy Banning and Ginny Sullivan,
    Redleaf Press, 2010
  • Nature and Young Children: Encouraging Creative Play and Learning in Natural Environments
    Ruth Wilson, Routledge, 2007
  • Heart-Centered Teaching Inspired by Nature: Using Nature’s Wisdom to Bring More Joy and Effectiveness to Our Work with Children
    Nancy Rosenow, Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, 2012

Designing Outdoor Spaces for Children

  • Caring Spaces, Learning Places: Children’s Environments That Work
    Jim Greenman, Exchange Press, 2005    
  • A Child’s Garden: 60 Ideas to Make Any Garden Come Alive for Children
    Molly Dannenmaier, Timber Press, 2008
  • Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators
    David Sobel, Stenhouse Publishers, 2008
  • Discovering Nature With Young Children: Part of the Young Scientists Series
    Ingrid Chalufour and Karen Worth, Redleaf Press, 2003
  • Landscapes for Learning: Creating Outdoor Environments for Children and Youth
    Sharon Stine, Wiley, 1996
  • Let’s Go Outside!: Designing the Early Childhood Playground
    Tracy Theemes, High/Scope Press, 1999
  • Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard
    Robin C. Moore and Herbert H. Wong, Mig Communications, 1997
  • Natural Playscapes
    Rusty Keeler, Exchange Press, 2008
  • Play for All Guidelines:  Planning, Design and Management of Outdoor Play Settings for All Children
    Robin Moore and S.M. Goltsman (authors), D.S. Iacofano (editor), Mig Communications, 1992
  • Playground Design: Outdoor Environments for Learning and Development
    Aase  Eriksen, Olympic Marketing Corporation, 1985
  • POEMS: Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale
    Karen DeBord, Linda Hestenes, Robin Moore, N. Cosco and J. McGinnis, KPress, 2005
  • Learning with Nature Idea Book: Creating Nurturing Outdoor Spaces for Children
    Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, 2007

Children and Nature

  • Last Child In the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
    Richard Louv, Algonquin, 2006
  • Nurture Through Nature
    Claire Warden, Mindstretchers, 2007
  • Sharing Nature With Children
    Joseph Cornell, Dawn Publications, 1998
  • The Earth is Our Home: Children Caring for the Environment
    James L. Hoot and Judit Szente, Assn for Childhood Education Intl, 2010
  • The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places
    Gary Nabhan and Stephen Trimble, Beacon Press, 1995
  • The Great Outdoors: Restoring Children’s Right to Play Outside
    Mary S. Rivkin, Natl Association for the Education, 1995
  • The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder
    Richard Louv, Algonquin Books, 2011

Play, Outdoor Activities and Child-Centered Curriculum

  • Playing to Get Smart
    Elizabeth Jones and Renatta Cooper, Teachers College Press, 2005
  • The Play’s the Thing: Teachers’ Roles in Children’s Play
    Elizabeth Jones and Gretchen Reynolds, Teachers College Press, 2nd edition, 2011
  • The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally
    David Elkind, Da Capo Press, 2007
  • Emergent Curriculum
    Elizabeth Jones, National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1994
  • Nature’s Playground Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors
    Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield, Chicago Review Press, 2007


  • Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society
    William Crain, Holt Paperbacks, 2004
  • Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence
    Michael Medved and Diane Medved, Harper Paperbacks, 1999


  • 10 Minute Ecologist: 20 Answered Questions for Busy People Facing Environmental Issues
    John Janovy, Thomas Dunne Books, 1997