I do professional development trainings and workshops  at the national, state and local levels  As a lifelong learner, I brings a passion for research and early childhood exploration to young children, families, and educators.  Below are a few of the trainings available. 

Trees, Bees and Skinned Knees: The Impact of Nature on Brain Development

Develop rich outdoor learning environments that stimulate curiosity, sustain active investigation, foster creativity, and excite the senses Discover how nature provides cognitive benefits and why playing outdoors is so important to brain development.  We will discuss useful strategies and resources will be shared to effectively integrate nature into your outdoor classroom.  We will participate in activities that share the wonders of nature with children. Discover how to provide an environment that encourages learning through appropriate risk-taking while supporting children’s need to see what they can accomplish with their bodies and their imaginations. This workshop is packed with evidence based research on how outdoor play and nature effects brain growth. We will discuss the benefits of shemas, risky play and what children really want in their outdoor play spaces!

Stumps and Pumps: Creating Outdoor Learning Environments

In this high energy, fast moving presentation, I will share my journey of taking our own family childcare curriculum outdoors. I will share the results of my grad school thesis on how bringing water into the environment, allowed some children’s social and vocabulary/language interactions to increase by 70%! We will discuss everything from container babies, to crossing the midline, to active learning. Conversations will include branded products, scripted play, risk taking, loose parts and how very small changes in environmental spaces can add intentionality and focus to natural investigation and learning.  Let’s create learning environments that allow children to become thinkers, problem solvers, and risk-takers.  We will look at outdoor settings where children discover the love of learning, an excitement about life, and self-confidence that will give them the foundation to be successful throughout their lives.  Yes! You can create that environment in your own backyard!

Nature’s Touch: Restoring the Calm

Learn the secrets of softening your environment with natural materials while still meeting state licensing and rating system guidelines.  Yes, it can be done!  We will create calming environments and increase the learning and social skills along the way.  We will take a virtual tour through my own family childcare home and see how I kept the home in home childcare.  Why are we creating our homes to look like schools when schools are trying to look like home?  In this photo rich session, I will share my thoughts on how family childcares may just be the best place in early childhood education when the world around us goes a little assessment crazy. When we removed the clutter and excess, everyone slowed down and the play became deeper, engaging and inviting for more group investigation.

Snips and Snails, What's In Our Pails? Open Ended Learning With Loose Parts

If the term loose parts is new to you, we will get busy “messing about” to see what all the excitement is about. With no specific set of directions and powered only by a child imagination; nature’s loose parts create infinite play possibilities. I will share how loose parts lead to creative thinking, much richer and more meaningful than I had ever seen before.  Intentional learning happens when we follow the direction of the children and the world around them. With all the talk of STEM, this workshop shares  how to set up math and science environments that will draw children into learning through play.  Learn how you can set up beautiful learning environments without a lot of money.  The supplies are all around you, many of which are free! 

1, 2, 3, 4…Let’s Take Math Skills Out the Door

Did you know that nearly half of all children’s play involves math? The latest research also shows that early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than early reading skills! With all the talk of STEM, this workshop shows exactly how to set up math environments that will be draw children into learning through play. I share tips for math in both indoor and outdoor classrooms that allow children to enjoy the math experience without circle time or worksheets. Another high-energy presentation, which is photo heavy and full of math fun without any anxiety!  Come see how nature actually has it's own math magic in its plants and flowers! Discover the beauty of open-ended play and how building a foundation of math through play and vocabulary will be the basis for school success! Years and Still Learning in the Outdoor Classroom

Eight Years in the Outdoor Classroom, What Worked and What Didn’t

 After eight years of teaching in the outdoor classroom, I share with you what worked, what didn’t work, what we tweaked and what we tossed! This image heavy presentation will share with other providers and teachers, our journey along the path of learning in the outdoors. I will share how our environments have changed and become more intentional and deliberate. Learn why social and emotional competence soars in outdoor learning environments and most importantly, how the play changed and continues to change. Why is so much attention suddenly happening with natural environments and outdoor curriculums? I share what the research reveals, and why family childcare providers are currently the fastest growing sectors of outdoor classrooms!