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Learn Outside

Nature is a classroom rich with learning experiences. Educators will find support resources including outreach programs and field trips, lesson plans and self-directed learning ideas.


Find school outreach programs and field trips for school or afterschool.  You can search by cost (many are free), topic and grade.


Download free lesson plans for outdoor learning activities.  Includes PreK-6 lesson plans that align with Ohio academic standards.


Find inspiration to get students outdoors through the multitude of ideas in our Learn Outside Pinterest Board.

Additional Outdoor Learning Resources


Explore a list of reading resources related to children’s outdoor learning, designing outdoor learning spaces, the relationship between children and nature, & so much more!


Tinkergarten brings families together in a natural place in their community for classes where children learn through play. Each class becomes a tight-knit group of children and adults who learn together through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities.

Take the#OutdoorsAll4 pledge! Commit to playing outside together for 10 weeks and you will receive free weekly activities designed to inspire families to spend more time outdoors in all 4 seasons!


Be sure to check out their research-based outdoor classroom design resources, workshop sessions, and natural products.

Sessions are two hours in length and are available for a variety of ages and include the following topics: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Nature-rich Outdoor Environments,
Keeping it Growing: Maintaining and Sustaining Your Outdoor Classroom, Enhancing Whole-Child Development through Natural Outdoor Classrooms, & Heart-Centered Self-Care Inspired by Nature.


MJV provides a compilation of Monarch Joint Venture and partner resources for monarch lessons, activities, and ideas. Whether you are a parent, teacher, non-formal educator or community organizer, there is an updated list of downloadable lessons from the Monarchs and More curriculum guide (for K-2, 3-6 grade, and middle school aged children).

Educator Professional Development

STEM in the Playscape

FREE online modules for early childhood educators, program directors, supervisors, or anyone interested in promoting the benefits of play in nature.

The modules will introduce you to:

  • The importance of play in nature
  • STEM learning in early childhood
  • Teaching strategies and dispositions that support STEM learning in nature
  • Basics of designing nature playscapes



School administrators showcase how their schoolyards have become learning laboratories that engage and inspire students while improving their problem-solving ability, social skills and behavior.

Every schoolyard can be an outdoor classroom!  This fun video offers simple ideas for cross-curricular outdoor activities that can enhance academic achievement in reading, writing, math and science.

Nature can improve Academic outcomes

Spending time in nature helps children succeed.

Improved Behavior
Increased Engagement & Enthusiasm
Enhanced Attention

Do you want a School Garden or Nature Playscape?

Many of the organizations in our collaborative offer design services, training and other assistance to schools and child care centers who would like to have gardens and natural playscapes.  If your school or child care center is interested in such a space but you are not sure where to start, please contact us and we will be happy to connect you with people who may be able to help and who will keep you informed of upcoming classes and training sessions.

These two e-books are terrific resources for helping you plan effective outdoor learning areas: