Natural Learning Environments

Sunshine Outside

Children Thrive Outside

Creating a community of child care programs and families that are striving to increase the time they spend outdoors with children in their care. This work is inspired by the 1000 Hours Outside project.

The Children Thrive Outside Project is supported by Nebraska Extension's Early Childhood Team.

Team members include Jaci Foged, Kara Kohel, Katie Krause. Holly Hatton-Bowers, Tasha Wulf, Lynn DeVries, Sarah Roberts

Join the Challenge on Facebook
mother hugging child

Early Childhood Health Outdoors

Led by Katie Krause, The Early Childhood team has partnered with the Early Childhood Health Outdoors [ECHO] program, with the goal of bringing nature and outdoor play to every child, every day. Nebraska is honored to have been selected as an expansion state. We facilitate the creation of nature-based outdoor play settings; provide support and resources for parents, caregivers, and educators to activate these spaces; and advocate for policies to transform outdoor play and learning best practice into common practice.

Get Involved

Growing Up Wild!

Build on children's sense of wonder about nature and invite them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, set the stage to develop positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills. 

Participate in a workshop

building with blocks

Block Party

Block Party is a hands-on, engaging program for early childhood educators, families, and children. By taking time to play with a variety of blocks, educators and families will develop a better understanding of the multitude of ways children learn by playing with blocks!

Host a block party

infant crawling

Look Who's Hatching

Look Who’s Hatching is a program available from Nebraska Extension for childcare centers, preschools, and family home programs with preschool-age children. Implement the program's emergent curriculum. Extension staff drops off incubators, eggs, and curriculum toolkit. Shhh, don’t tell the children they are chicken eggs!

Contact Look Who's Hatching