Spring has sprung! Like the earth experiencing a rebirth of sorts—trees budding, flowers blooming, grass is green and growing, we (children, child care providers, parents, people in general) want to be a part of this new start.

A young child’s connection with nature can be as simple as sitting under a tree, listening to the chirping of crickets, or planting a bean seed. Spending time in nature has many positive benefits.  Children who have opportunities to play and learn in nature are more likely to:

  • Handle challenges and problems more easily
  • Act responsibly toward the earth and each other
  • Be more physically active and make healthy choices in regards to nutrition
  • Appreciate the arts (music, history, literature)
  • Seek a career in science or a related field
  • Be a well informed and environmentally responsible adult

Warmer, sunnier days bring opportunities to explore the wonders of nature. YWCA Northwestern Illinois Child Care Solutions is offering two workshops this spring that support this phenomenon. “Exploring Nature with Our Five Senses” will be presented on April 30, 2016.  This workshop will explore the sensory experiences that are available in nature. These events excite children’s imagination and support their curiosity to make them life- long learners.

The second workshop Growing Up WILD! is available on June 8, 2016. GUW! is a nature based early childhood education program targeting the preschool age group. GUW provides a multitude of ideas and activities encouraging exploration of wildlife and the world around them.

All of the activities offer specific suggestions for getting children moving outdoors, with nature walks, physical games, and other ideas encouraging exploring nature outdoors.

For further information, please contact Nancy at 815-484-9442 ext. 211 or [email protected]