Blog Archives
Where's the best place to learn about outdoor classrooms? In an outdoor classroom, of course!

Adults Learning in the Outdoor Classroom

by Eric M. Nelson Here are some photos of participants in the 3rd annual Nature Explore / Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute at the Arbor Day Foundation’s Lied Lodge in Nebraska City, Nebraska. At this dynamic, interactive Read more

Outdoor Classroom Project Showcased at National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference

The Orfalea Foundation’s Santa Barbara County Outdoor Classroom Project was showcased at a national convening last week for educators from around the globe. The session, entitled “Transforming Our Approach to ECE at the Regional Level:  The Read more

A once empty ashphalt area is now a fully developed outdoor classroom.

A Little Center That Can, Part 3

(Part 3: Securing Long Term Change) By Eric Nelson. In our previous segments we saw how Sara Bautista’s leadership and commitment to personal growth drove changes at her Aliso State Preschool.  However, Aliso stands out Read more

Outdoor Classroom Specialist trainings build leadership skills and subject matter expertise.

A Little Center That Can, Part 2

(Part 2: Momentum) By Eric Nelson. Site director Sara Bautista’s commitment to personal growth was a key success factor in enhancing the quality of Aliso State Preschool. Already an accomplished professional with a Masters degree Read more

From the beginning, Aliso State Preschool offered a beautiful, natural, welcoming entryway.

A Little Center That Can, Part 1

(Part1: Getting Started) By Eric Nelson There are over 150 child care centers in Santa Barbara County.  Each is unique and each has special stories of challenges and successes.  Tucked away in a far corner Read more

Outdoor classroom spaces come in many shapes and sizes.

Are You Convinced Yet? Young Children Need Lots of Time Outdoors

by Theresa Embry During recent visits to local child care centers participating in the Outdoor Classroom Project, I’ve been hearing a lot of enthusiasm from directors and teachers: “We don’t need convincing that the children Read more

UCSB Arts & Lectures brought Richard Louv to Santa Barbara in May of 2012. Here, he addresses a packed house at the Granada Theater.

Nature Deficit Disorder Affects Children and Adults

UCSB Arts & Lectures brought Richard Louv to Santa Barbara in May of 2012. Here, he addresses a packed house at the Granada Theater. By Carly Kray Richard Louv coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” Read more

From Goodnight Moon to Touchscreens and Cartoons

by Carly Kray With today’s young children dubiously nicknamed “the touchscreen generation,” many parents feel ambivalence; they appreciate the easy and engaging games and apps on touchscreens, yet fear that too much time with these Read more

Nurturing Body, Brain, and Curiosity: An Outdoor Classroom Conference

Early childhood educators will gather at Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara on Saturday, May 18, for a rich array of interactive and energizing workshops from the Outdoor Classroom Project. Workshops will focus on Read more

Connecting kids to farms and gardens for a better understanding of where REAL food comes from.

Why Gardens and Recycling are Signs of a Quality Preschool

Currently, the Orfalea Foundation Early Childhood Education (ECE) team is focused on five measures of whole child quality at local centers: Food Quality, Physical Activity, Hydration, Gardens, and Recycling. While the first three are obviously Read more