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the blog: on education outside

Book Recommendations

School Garden Weed Resources

This post is one of a series of posts listing resources available to teachers seeking tools for teaching across the curriculum in their school gardens. This post lists some of the resources shared on the topic of weed management in school gardens from session one of the garden classroom series.

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Play Research Group: Children As Catalysts for Social Capital

During our final August PLAY Journal group meeting, we reviewed the article “Through the Kids . . . We Connected With Our Community”: Children as Catalysts of Social Capital (Wood et al., 2011) and discussed the social implications of demographic shifts in urban communities. Social Capital Social capital, defined by

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Play Research Group: Risky Play In Schools

For our July 25 play research study group meeting, I presented slides from a presentation given at a recent Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA 2019) conference sharing what opportunities for risky play in schools can look like across the province of BC. It was a conversational hour with

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Book Recommendations

Best Books Supporting Loose Parts Play Outdoors

Loose parts are found or natural objects that have no specific instructions for play and are highly valued for their imaginative and creative affordances for play. For children who are new to loose parts play outdoors, it can help to introduce them in small quantities. I have found that for

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Easy lavender playdough
Loose Parts

Easy Lavender Playdough

Playdough is surprisingly entertaining for kids of all ages. Adding lavender playdough as a sensorial play opportunity in the school garden becomes a delightful way to integrate student learning and core competency skill development with the natural world.  This simple play staple engages children in imaginative play while increasing communication,

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Play Research Group
Play Research

Play Research Group: beginnings

Our first play research group meeting on intersecting and overlapping topics relevant to child well-being was full of informal discussion and brainstorming about the scope of the play research group, possible formats, and what everyone was hoping to get out of it. A list of topics of interest included: Child-friendliness, human

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Not A Stick
Book Recommendations

Not a Stick: Ordinary Objects Inspire Free Thinking

Thank you to Rene Gualtieri for contributions to this post! Not A Stick Play Having worked at a nature camp, I am very aware of the hesitation towards allowing children to pick up and play with sticks. It was a concern raised by parents and staff alike due to potential

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risky play with tools
Risky Play Resources

Risky Play With Tools In Schools

For generations, the use of tools was a rite of passage and a normal part of any child’s growth and development. Somewhere along the way, perhaps because of our focus on academics over trades, the use of real tools for real work has become an all but rare occurrence in

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what is risky play
Risky Play Resources

Risky Play: Getting Lost & Found In The Fog

If you’ve ever attended one of my teacher development workshops, you’ve heard me speak about the importance of allowing children to take risks in outdoor play and learning at school. The phrase ‘risky play’ has increasingly been used in education circles, and originated with Ellen Sandseter’s 2009 study, Categorising risky play—how

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