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.
Carol Arthurs is a school psychologist in Southwest Nova Scotia. She has an MA in School Psychology and an MEd in Curriculum Studies from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Elizabeth Hicks is an elementary teacher from England, with an ECE diploma, and 38 years’ experience in early childhood. She is currently a private consultant working in early childhood education in NS. She wants to help educators to provide the best environments and experiences for ALL children that encourage awe, wonder, learning and excitement in discovery, and nurture their spiritual beings.
Bora Kim is a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE), and a professor in the Early Childhood Education program at Humber College. Bora’s work, research, and advocacy focuses on early years pedagogy that promotes play in natural environments and incorporates pedagogical documentation for collaborative inquiries.
Rebecca Blakely is qualified as a “nursery nurse” in the UK and an ECE in Canada. She lives in Kelowna, BC with her husband and daughter, runs a nature-based daycare called Viva Early Learning. We can be seen around town riding our daycare electric bike bus called Bertie!
Over the past 50 years, Jay Beckwith has introduced five innovative play systems that have become industry standards. In his books and many articles, Jay has promoted the benefits of play and especially child-directed play. Find out more about Jay at https://cplayd.com/meettheteam
Rachel Cowper has been at the forefront of putting innovative plans into effective action at Inspiring Scotland since 2009. Rachel leads on the design and implementation of the Thrive Outdoors fund, increasing outdoor play and learning opportunities for children throughout Scotland. Her work has led to international recognition and cooperation with similar programmes and leading academics in the field of outdoor play and learning, and has made her a leading voice in helping to change and shape attitudes towards play.
Ashley Machum is the Head of Youth Services at the Okanagan Regional Library. She likes all books but LOVES kids books!
Jeanne Howland is a mom of two autistic boys and an Early Childhood Educator. She enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, playing in the forest and geocaching with her family.
Donna Kaye is a certified Forest & Nature School Practitioner and registered Early Childhood Educator. She currently works at Wildwood Forest & Nature EarlyON Programs, through Family Space Quinte, in Ontario. She has been in the early learning and child care profession for more than 40 years. Donna resides in Prince Edward County where she enjoys her outdoor time hiking, kayaking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing.
Barbara McLean has enjoyed being an early childhood educator for over 30 years. Her work experiences include front line work as an ECE, Aboriginal Supported Child Development worker, Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve Coordinator and Program Advisor, and instructor in the ECE program with Thompson Rivers University and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Barb and her husband John have two children and four grandchildren. After a lifetime in the Cariboo Chilcotin region, Barb and her family now live in Kamloops, BC.
John Palmer is a registered social worker who has experience working in social and community services supporting children, youth, and adults. He is passionate about ecological approaches that explore using nature to support children. He currently works at Humber College on a research project focused on advocating for affordable housing.
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.
Monica McGlynn-Stewart (Ph.D.) is a professor in the School of Early Childhood at George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario. She teaches courses in curriculum, policy, and research methods. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator on the federally funded research project, Designing and Implementing Environmental Inquiry Strategies in Urban Early Years Programs in Canada (2020-2023).
In partnership with some of Canada’s outdoor play educators, Play Outdoors magazine is offering a multitude of workshop topics to educate, inspire, and bring new ideas to your early learning and childcare practice.