It is with profound pleasure, humility and anticipation that Christina Pickles and I celebrate the debut of Play Outdoors Magazine: Exploring Outdoor Experiences in Early Learning.
Why now? Like many, as COVID 19 began to change our lives, I began to re-evaluate many aspects of life, including what my next step would be to contribute to advancing the conversations on the importance of outdoor play and experiences for and with children. I began pondering the idea of a magazine but was not ready to make the commitment that such a project would need. Then, after an evening call with Christina Pickles in July 2020, we began brainstorming ideas on how to reframe our work in outdoor play. Ideas flowed and then I expressed my ideal – create a magazine and with that and many more meetings, the idea has now become reality. On behalf of Christina, our team and those who have helped us along this journey, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our readership. Thank you for having the confidence in us to explore this resource – we hope you won’t be disappointed.
In the summer edition, we invite you to read about the importance of outdoor experiences for a family whose children on the autism spectrum have diverse play and learning needs. Read about tips on gardening with children and the value of introducing children to foraging. Read the article from our colleague in Scotland, who shares parental misperceptions that the outdoors is for playing and the indoors is for learning. Examine how outdoor experiences in nature may align and contribute to a child’s spirit
and spirituality. Read about new research that describes “blue space” and its importance to children’s
emotional development. Think about the relationship between children’s learning styles and preferences for outdoor play. Find a comfortable reading spot, and visit the summer book recommendations.
In each issue there will be: Articles from educators, practitioners and researchers, along with ideas to spark children’s curiosity, play and exploration:
• Incorporating loose parts in the outdoor environment
• Books and resources
• Voices from the field
• Reflection on and about practice
• Messages from parents
• And so much more.
Drop us an email – tell us what you would like to see in upcoming issues.
Your annual subscription includes four issues published quarterly and will begin with Volume 1, Summer 2021, followed by the Fall and Winter 2021 editions. You can choose to order DIGITAL issues sent directly to your inbox or DIGITAL + PRINT issues sent to your address.
$35 for 1 year DIGITAL subscription
$49.99 for 1 year DIGITAL + PRINT subscription (plus $5.50 each issue for shipping)
We love getting letters! Send us your ideas, comments and suggestions.
Dr. Debra Harwood is the co-designer and current Program Director for the ECE degree program at Brock University in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Debra can often be found outdoors with university students, educators, and/ or children exploring ways of playing, thinking, and being in nature.
Jacqueline Marie is an actor and an educator at Okanagan College where she teaches English. She has a passion for using stories, technology, and the environment to support individuals in expressing their individuality, voice and talents.
Linda O’Donoghue is an instructor in the Early Childhood Education and Development Program at Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta. She has a passion for outdoor pedagogy and is an advocate for children’s right to play in all seasons and all weather!
Janetta McLean grew up in England and Wales and emigrated to Canada as a young adult. She studied Religion & Philosophy at the University of Lancaster and Education at the University of Durham and Early Childhood Education at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec. Currently she teaches Early Childhood Education at CDI college in Montreal.
Fiona Rowlands is a teacher in the Early Childhood Education Department at Vanier College and a part-time lecturer at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.
Christine Alden is a PhD Candidate, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Aynsley Maves is an elementary school educator and a Master of Education student at Brock University, focusing her research on the paradigm shift that needs to occur for educators to transition their pedagogy to become outdoor educators.
Deborah Meechan is a lecturer in the Early Years and Childcare program at Glasgow Clyde College. Having spent 22 years teaching and training in early years, Deborah qualified as a Forest Kindergarten Trainer and Forest School Leader in 2019. She is passionate about play in nature and encourages future practitioners to provide plentiful opportunities for children to develop and learn in nature.
Angela Roy is the owner/operator of Serendipity Early Years Centre in Kelowna, BC. She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for 20 years, since graduating from Okanagan College. She is an advocate for outdoor play and has evolved her program over the years to offer incredible outdoor experiences daily, no matter the weather.
Jessica Holder (RECE, BSc, Forest School Practitioner) has been passionately committed to the field of early childhood education for over a decade. She is the Pedagogical Leader at Discovery Child Care Centre where she works collaboratively with educators to reflect on their pedagogical choices and to grow the programs they co-construct with children and families
Karen Eilersen (RECE, Forest School Practitioner) is the founder and director of Discovery Child Care Centre: one of Ontario’s very first licensed childcare centres that is also a certified Forrest and Natureschool, founded in 1998. She has earned international acclaim for her work in green childcare practices and is a pioneer in terms of advancing the Forest and Nature school concept here in Canada
Bev Williams is an educator who has taught students from pre-school to university. She has a passion for nurturing a sense of wonder and helping people discover a love for nature. Bev has worked to raise the awareness and developmental level of students, educators, and parents through workshops, environmental camps, and summer science programs. Bev believes very strongly in the importance of building and expanding on the natural curiosity of young children.
Nadine L. Siever is a Grade 3 Teacher at Rose Valley Elementary School in West Kelowna, BC.
Tim Van Brummelen is the Principal of Rose Valley Elementary School in West Kelowna, nestled in the woods of Rose Valley Regional Park. Along with his staff, he is passionate about outdoor play and living out Truth and Reconciliation in relationships. In his spare time, he loves to camp in his rooftop tent in the woods far from civilization with his wife, Bobbi.
Our Fall Issue has arrived! With great articles such as
"How to Think like an Outdoor Nature Educator," "Leadership Lessons from Indigenous Ways of Knowing," and "Seeing Stories: How Giving my Toddler a Camera Changed both of our Perspectives" you wont want to miss this read!