23 Sep 2018, Liz Roberts
In response to the growing realisation that children benefit from being involved in wild spaces, educational consultant with the Natural Learning Early Childhood Consultancy, Niki Buchan, has written A Practical Guide to Nature-Based Practice, which offers ideas for natural learning in dynamic and complex outdoor environments, as well as a huge range of opportunities for children to experience and understand risks and challenges.
A Practical Guide to Nature-Based Practice introduces a wealth of wild spaces that will encourage a whole host of exciting opportunities for exploration and free play for young children; from running and kicking through crunchy autumn leaves and balancing along a newly fallen log to collecting water from a stream.
The book, published by Bloomsbury, is perfect for helping adults and children alike to reconnect with their local environment. It presents practical guidance to take children beyond the walls of the traditional outdoor space and into local places with a sense of wildness, be it woodland, beaches, a nearby park or a large open moorland. In her exploration of nature-based practice, Niki provides a useful blend of background, research and practical suggestions within the context of the UK’s landscape, culture and curricula. She uses case studies which are deliberately broad in terms of location and practice and which are a celebration of the diversity of nature-based pedagogy that is increasingly emerging in the UK.
These case studies offer inspiration to practitioners and show how outdoor learning can help young children to become independent while still recognising when there is a need for support.
The book shares a wealth of innovative practice, photographs and expertise in the form of a ‘practitioner voice’, and encourages practitioners to enable children to become aware of hazards and conduct their own risk assessments.
A Practical Guide to Nature-Based Practice covers a range of guidance and top tips, as well as emphasising the importance of encouraging a risk-taking disposition in children and dynamically assessing risk to carefully support these learning experiences. It features full-colour photographs of the activities in action and the ideas for outdoor learning can be used all year round, whatever the season.
The guide is ideal for enthusing young children and those who care for them with the fantastic opportunities that the outside world has to offer, and helps readers open the door to exciting, valuable nature-based experiences.
"A beautiful book, which integrates advocacy for nature-based practice with a range of case study examples. Rather than set out a standard, it invites settings to embark on their own journey toward bringing opportunities to interact with nature into their practice" — judge
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