The Benefits of Outdoor Learning in the Summer

Summer is here! The temperature rises, the day stretches longer, and the natural environment offers countless opportunities for exploring. It’s the time of year when nature transforms into a vibrant playground, inviting children to venture outside and explore. In a world where screens and technology have become a dominant part of everyday life, summer serves as a refreshing opportunity to introduce outdoor learning and reignite the wonder and curiosity that lies within our children. Check out this blog for some benefits of outdoor learning in the summer, and great activities recommendations! 

Product in picture: Nature to Play Double Bench

1. Physical Health and Well-being:  

Summer provides an abundance of chances for children to engage in physical exercise. Whether they’re running, swimming, biking, or participating in sports, these activities promote cardiovascular fitness, muscle development, and overall physical health. The generous amount of sunlight during the summer months also helps the body produce vitamin D, which is essential for having strong bones and a healthy immune system. Additionally, outdoor play encourages children to be active, boosting their energy levels and improving sleep patterns, which benefits their general wellbeing. 

Fun activities to do: Outdoor sports and games are a fantastic way to keep children active. Organize friendly games of tag, capture the flag, or hide-and-seek in a park or backyard. Set up a mini soccer field or basketball court to encourage team play and friendly competition. Take them swimming, running, or simply just strolling around the neighbourhood in this great weather. Get them on bicycles & ride ons! They help children develop gross motor skills, balance, and agility. 

Winther Viking Trike has a harmonious, safe design with no sharp edges, and strong, oval-shaped tubes ensure maximum strength. It features a weather-resistant rubber seat, solid rubber handlebar grips, effective rust protection and impact-resistant powder coating that will last for many years. 

Tilo Three Wheeled Scooter features high quality steel bearings, powder coated steel frame. Tilo’s quality and safety standards allow children the freedom to experience the joy of motion, the confidence of speed and the adventure of exploration. 

2. Cognitive Development:

Outdoor learning greatly stimulates cognitive development. Children can touch, smell, hear, and see a multitude of elements, supporting sensory integration and cognitive processing. Outdoor environments also propose unlimited options for imaginative play, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Whether it’s building a fort, creating a nature-inspired artwork, or navigating a nature trail, children are challenged to think creatively and develop innovative solutions, enhancing cognitive flexibility and resilience. 

Fun activities to do: Nature scavenger hunts are fantastic ways to engage children in exploration and observation. Create a list of items commonly found in nature, such as specific leaves, rocks, flowers, animal tracks, or natural artifacts like feathers or pinecones. Provide each child with a checklist or a small bag to collect their findings as they venture outdoors. This activity not only motivates children to explore their surroundings but also stimulates critical thinking skills as they search for and identify various elements of nature. It sparks curiosity and enriches their knowledge of the natural world, making them more observant and attentive to their environment. 

Nature Feel & Find are over-sized, unrefined wood textures and nature-inspired shapes to elevate the classic discovery game. Use tactile senses to determine the hidden shapes in the canvas bag that correspond to the matching bases. 

Rainbow Pebbles is ideal for developing fine motor skills and for counting, sorting and creative design. Includes 36 plastic pebbles in 6 sizes and 6 colours and 20 double-sided full-colour activity cards in a sturdy plastic container. How many pebbles can you stack before they topple over?  

Great tools to use in Nature Scavenger Hunt game that helps children identify elements of nature.

3. Experiential Learning:

Summer outdoor learning presents rich, hands-on experiences that deepen children’s understanding of various subjects. By observing and interacting with the natural world, they can explore scientific ideas. Perceiving the life cycles of plants, studying insects, or carrying out easy experiment’s outdoors are all enjoyable pastimes. Additionally, learning about ecosystems, climate, and environmental sustainability through direct experiences fosters a deeper understanding of these topics. Experiential learning also stirs up curiosity and problem-solving skills, as children naturally encounter real-world challenges and find solutions within the context of their environment. 

Fun activities to do: Gardening! It is a rewarding outdoor activity that teaches children about the life cycle of plants, the importance of protecting the environment, and the delight of growing their own food. Create a small garden patch or provide children with their own pots or containers. Let them choose the plants they want to grow, whether it’s flowers, vegetables, or herbs. Teach them about soil preparation, planting, watering, and maintaining their garden. They can watch the growth process, learn about pollination and beneficial insects, and even harvest the fruits of their labor. Gardening teaches patience, responsibility, and an appreciation for the cycles of life. 

Sprout and Grow Window helps to get a worm’s eye view of root growth. This transparent “nature’s window” allows gardeners of all ages to watch seeds sprout and grow into plants. Stands upright on a tabletop or windowsill. Special potting soil nurtures seeds for optimum growth. Comes with packets of bean and pea seeds and a step-by-step guide with instructions, suggested activities, and journal pages to fill in as you follow the process from seed planting to full-grown plants. 

4. Connection with Nature:

Outdoor learning in the summer allows children to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world. Through direct experiences, they develop a deep connection and appreciation for the environment. Exploring forests, hiking trails, or simply playing in the backyard exposes them to diverse ecosystems, plants, and animals. This connection strengthens a sense of wonder, empathy, and environmental stewardship, inspires them to care for and protect our planet. Additionally, spending time in nature has been linked to improved mental health, reduced stress levels, and increased overall well-being, developing a balanced and harmonious lifestyle. 

Rusty Keeler’s “Nature to Play” outdoor furniture collection allows children to dig into childhood and play without reservation in a natural playscape that is built just for them. Children may take charge of their own learning experiences and participate in activities that are healthy for both their minds and bodies, as the Nature to Play collection is designed to be open-ended play. The furniture is made from thermally modified, weather-resistant wood to withstand long-term, rough-and-tumble play. 

Nature to Play Water Tower can be easily attaches to a standard garden hose, making it a simple, kid-activated water source.  

Nature to Play Trough System let children explore physics and cause and effect principles by pouring buckets of water. It is designed to work with the Water Tower to provide unlimited opportunities for kid-lead, water-based activities.  

Observe the cascading water and other messy elements! 

Nature to Play Loose Parts is inspired by construction and lumber yards. These durable, yet lightweight Kid Boards are an oversized version of your child’s beloved indoor block set. Kid board encourage teamwork and communication skills during collaborative building projects. 

These strong boards are made to inspire creativity and captivate children with unlimited play possibilities!

Nature to Play Mini Spool can be used as a table, stool, or turn it on its side and roll it around the yard during gross-motor activities. The Mini Spool encourages children to use their imaginations and play in creative, open-ended ways.  

The Spool can withstand continued outdoor use and rough play! 

Nature to Play Water Table brings the fun to water play! Fill the two large basins of this sturdy Water Table and let kids splash around and explore with all their senses. Bring in materials like water, sand, shaving cream or slime and encourage messy play during collaborative projects and social interaction around the large worksurface.  

Store mud tools, buckets, and Nature to Play Crates on the convenient bottom shelf. 

Nature to Play Planter is a large, reinforced basin with built-in drain allows for social interaction and collaboration while children dig, discover, explore and grow a variety of different plants. 

So many fun activities can be done with the Nature to Play collection!

5. Social and Emotional Development:

The outdoors serves as a natural setting for social interaction and the development of social skills. Collaborative outdoor activities, such as team sports or nature-based projects, push for cooperation, communication, and teamwork. Children learn to negotiate, share, and respect each other’s ideas and opinions. Furthermore, the open spaces, freedom, and unstructured play that the outdoors provide can contribute to emotional well-being. It enables children to release energy (especially when they need to “let off steam”), reduce stress, and improve their mood. Nature’s tranquility and beauty can have a calming effect on their emotions, nourishing a sense of peace, joy, and overall mental health. 

Fun activities to do: Outdoor art activities allow children to combine their creativity with the beauty of nature. Provide them with art supplies like chalk, paints, or watercolors and let their imaginations soar! They can create colorful murals on sidewalks, paint landscapes inspired by the scenery, or use natural materials like leaves and flowers to make nature-inspired collages. This activity not only stimulates their artistic abilities but also encourages a deeper appreciation for the environment. Children can learn to observe nature’s colors, textures, and patterns, translating them into their artwork. Outdoor art fosters self-expression, boosts confidence, and builds a connection between creativity and the natural world. 

Outdoor Acrylic Art Easel let kids enjoy nature and paint freely wherever they want. This painting easel has a durable frame made with 100% recycled plastic lumber that can withstand the elements. It does not rot or splinter (like some wood) or rust (like metal). The double-sided painting surface is made of hardened acrylic board and includes a removable paint tray with 6 spill-proof caps. The paint pots are accessible from both sides, allowing for space for two budding artists to create.  

Create together with the Outdoor Acrylic Art Easel. 

Pull up a bench to Nature to Play Outdoor Table for messy crafts, a picnic of veggies or collaborative activity. Large work surfaces provide ample room for social interactions and teamwork! 

6. Building Resilience:

Outdoor learning in the summer brings up independence and resilience in children. They have the freedom to explore, make decisions, and take risks in a monitored and supportive environment. This independence fuels self-confidence, self-reliance, and a sense of empowerment. Outdoor adventures also present opportunities to overcome obstacles, adapt to new environments, and develop resilience. Whether it’s building a shelter, overcoming a fear of heights on a climbing wall, or navigating a challenging hiking trail, children learn to persevere, problem-solve, and bounce back from setbacks. These experiences build character, grit, and the ability to face future challenges with confidence. 

Fun activities to do: Take children on nature walks or hikes opens a world of exploration and discovery. Visit nearby parks, forests, or nature reserves, allowing them to immerse themselves in the wonders of the outdoors. Encourage children to take note of and pick up on the many plant and animal species they come across along the route. Provide field guides or nature identification apps to help them identify trees, birds, insects, or other wildlife. Incites little ones to ask questions, explore different habitats, and appreciate the interconnectedness of nature. This practice promotes a sense of curiosity, enhances observation skills, and deepens their understanding of the natural world, developing a lifelong appreciation for the environment. 

Natural Shape Viewers inspires children to explore their environment with new enthusiasm and focus. Encourage children to use them around the setting to find items of similar shape or to focus attention on things they choose to investigate. The viewers are designed to frame a particular item or area in the natural world and will enable children to really look at the detail.   

Includes circle, square, rectangle, triangle, and hexagon.

In conclusion… 

As the sun sets on another long July day, it’s clear that outdoor learning has created a tapestry of joy, growth, and connection for our children. Every time spent in nature, from the early morning runs to the late-afternoon picnics, has served as a reminder of the many beauties that are waiting outside our door. As parents, by encouraging exploration, nurturing curiosity, and fostering a sense of stewardship for the environment, we equip children with invaluable tools for a lifetime of adventure and appreciation. We have the power to inspire and ignite a love for the outdoors in our children.  

And what better time to do so than during the bright, warm days of summer?

Loose Parts Play in an Early Learning Environment

Hi! My name is Ashley Elliott – I live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in a community called Campbell River. My program, Aster Meadow Early Learning and Care, is a licensed multi-age program, but primarily caters to 3–5-year-olds.

I began my journey into the field of childcare in 2013 as a family childcare provider after taking the ‘Good Beginnings’ course. It wasn’t long after that I realized what an investment it would be to obtain my Early Childhood Education Certification. After completing that at Northern Lights College, I quickly became enamored with learning outdoors with children and the Reggio Philosophy. I am passionate about working outside with children and documenting their discoveries, play, and determination. It brings a lot of joy to my work to be able to share with families the learning that takes place through learning stories or video documentation. With some of my free time in the last year, I’ve been mentoring in a program offered by ECE BC called “Learning Outside Together” – a beautiful 32-hour workshop highlighting the benefits of learning outdoors with children.   

Loose part play – what is that?

‘In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.” Simon Nicholson

 The theory of loose parts was coined by an architect named Simon Nicholson in the early 1970’s. Nicholson described loose parts as variables and proposed that everyone has the ability to be creative and inventive – his theory greatly supports autonomy of children and defines loose parts as materials that have no defined use. This means that there are unlimited possibilities to explore the materials.

 Loose part play greatly supports children’s autonomy as they can create their own rules and ideas about their experience and play – a bucket filling activity.

If you are unfamiliar with loose parts, I’ve curated a list to spark some creativity.

Up to down, left to right: Beads, pebbles, sticks, flowers, stones, wooden blocks, pegs, shells, magnets.

Loose parts play encourages open ended learning; the materials can be used alone or alongside other materials. Materials and environments that are open ended (no defined outcome) greatly support the child’s creativity and supports problem solving. You might find that children generally choose loose parts over manufactured toys when given the opportunity. It’s often the joke we hear often around holidays surrounding gifts – the child often really does prefer the box.

Photo taken by Ashley.

Bringing Loose Parts into practice

One of the more beautiful aspects of working with children, primarily outdoors, is that there are loose part materials everywhere you look; imaginations are eager to turn rocks into fish, sticks into magic wands, and fallen leaves into potion. When we are engaging in play in the wild woods, which is often, we never run out of things to do or games to play. We have limitless materials that nature has provided us – and often the most seamless and the most collaborative play. Loose parts aren’t just found outside – they are truly any material that can be moved and used in any way.

There are often periods of time that our preschool group sticks close to home base; times where we are not frolicking into the woods. This is usually dependent on the seasons – living on the wet west coast, we often soak through our rain gear for the first half of the day and enjoy our late afternoons in a different way. This is when we utilize our indoor and outdoor classroom. While we don’t have endless supplies of pinecones and pebbles, I think it’s really important to offer   activities or experience that mimic our play in the forest – a feeling of calm and connectivity. I do this by ensuring the children have the opportunity to stretch their imagination in the same way we do in the forest – with loose parts.

When considering which materials, I’m going to introduce into both our indoor or outdoor classroom, I consider the items ability to mold with the children in both development and creativity. A quality item to us, is an item that develops children’s foundational skills, such as: social and emotional, speech and language, fine and gross motor, and cognitive development.  Ideally, the toy or materials can check off most, if not all of those boxes. It can sound like a big task – which toys or material can possibly do all of that? This is why loose parts should be a big part of your learning environment.

It can feel overwhelming as an educator, parent, or caregiver to    obtain piles of pinecones, napkin rings, wood planks, sticks, pebbles, seashells, and more…and then bringing them indoors. If the concept of loose parts is new to your environment, there is no doubt that it may feel messy and chaotic. I would recommend starting small – you can do this by introducing one material at a time and in smaller quantities. As children become more familiar with loose parts, you will have the pleasure of observing them utilize the materials with more intention and creativity than you could have imagined.

While it is true that you can obtain loose parts often for free by walking the beach or local trail – there are many wonderful resources that can be purchased as well. Wooden rounds, are a beautiful addition to any learning environment. You can utilize them in your sensory bin, for an invitation to play, add them to your building blocks area, or just leave them out and let the children decide if they are cucumber slices, coins, or snails.

I recently invited my group of preschoolers to play with a set of Little Pavers. Often, when first introducing a new material, I just leave the materials out as an open invitation for the children to come and explore them. I try to not influence them in any ways, my own ideas tucked into my pocket.  I was so impressed with the quality of these hexagon shapes – I couldn’t wait to observe how my group would use them. These Little Pavers are a great example of a quality item that supports the developmental needs of a diverse group of children – and an item that can be used in a variety of ways.

The set of Little Pavers comes with a beautiful set of resource cards. The children utilized these as both inspiration and as a base for their building and driving. Along with the Little Paver pieces, the children also gathered other materials from their surroundings including sticks, dump trucks, wooden rounds, the water table, and a large ramp. I observed as the children tested theories, built different structures, engaged in some peer scaffolding, created patterns, communicated effectively, sorted, counted, and many more. Little Pavers can be used in a variety of ways – a must have addition to any loose part collection – the perfect example of the unlimited possibilities that loose parts can bring to child’s play.

As the children had more exposure to this particular loose part material, I observed their creativity bloom with these hexagonal miniature pavers. They were left outdoors and over the course of several days, I noted them being utilized as ice cubes, bricks, fish, dice, and even as steppingstones in an intense game of ‘Floor is Lava’. I am looking forward to observing the play expand and bloom as the seasons change and nature offers us some of its own loose parts to add to this play – fall leaves, ice, snow, muddy paddles – all a sure compliment to this play.

Photo taken by Ashley.

Often, observing the children engaged in such meaningful work, I am struck by how seamless their play – how deep and creative they become when they are playing with open ended materials; how adaptable and receptive they are to their peers’ ideas and thoughts. After ten years working in the field of early childhood education, I sometimes chuckle at the faint memory of the time between my own childhood and adulthood when I thought a stick was just a stick. Ah, the magic we miss out on when we are looking without really seeing.

Author: Ashley Elliott.

Check out Ashley’s review of the product Little Pavers here: Little Pavers, 60 Pieces – YouTube

Teachers, How Are You Doing? 

Another school year is coming to an end. For both students and teachers, this is the time where you feel all kinds of mixed emotions: anxious for the upcoming final period, but at the same time, happy and relieved because it’s almost over… We all experience this feeling in our life, and it’s always fun to sit back, relax, and reflect on the school year together. We asked teachers some questions to reflect on the past school year and here are the responses: 

“What are some things you accomplished this year that you are proud of?” 

“Teaching a new grade!” 

“Did some great training on difficult behaviors in the classroom.” 

“Helped advocated for some children in my care who needed extra help. Helped progress 3 students into early reading stage.” 

“My Kindergarten class wrote and published a book. Not only is it my goal to teach and mentor students to be the best versions of themselves but to also teach them to love themselves, grow confidence so that they can advocate for themselves and others.  

I think it is of the utmost importance to teach positive character traits from a young age- teach them, model them, and EXPECT THEM. I have high expectations for my learners (even if they are only in kindergarten) but I do my due diligence to ensure they are equipped with the strategies, resources and support they need to succeed.” 

“Making connections with tough students” 


Therapy can help teachers to effectively set boundaries with students, colleagues, and parents. It makes educators more patient and understanding, identify and manage the sources of their stress.   

“What is the biggest challenge you have faced this year? How did you get through it?” 

“Tough student. Support from co-worker. ” 

“Short staffing, being able to use staff from the office with the training helps! we work together!” 

“Other than many staffing changes & challenges, as a team our biggest challenge was supporting unexpected behaviour needs and diversity, including significantly more language delays than we’ve seen in the past.” 

“Kept my energy level up while running my own preschool, training for running race and raising my 3 1/2yr old daughter!” 

“Time …. never enough time in a day. Organized stuff to try to fit all into a day. ” 

All my resources and materials were either what I purchased or what past families donated to me. 6 weeks into school my class grew to a full class (23 with an ECE). I had to fight for appropriate chairs, search high and low for tables and was extremely thankful for applying for a flexible seating grant 5 years ago so that I had enough seating for my growing class. After many requests and the support of my Vice Principal, I received a light table and a few materials that my students enjoy. We are a class family who love and support one another. We get creative with our space and appreciate what we have.” 

Don’t you just love hearing stories like this 😊 

“Being physically attacked by students. Giving myself time for self-care and taking mental health days” 

“There have been a few hurdles this year… my classroom initially started as an Under 16 class (where it was myself and 15 students). My classroom allocation was a tiny room that was originally used for a class of 8.  

Reading these stories makes us understand more about educators’ unheard hardships. Teachers, you are incredible!  

“What is something you tried in your classroom this year for the first time? How did it go?” 

“Baby photos of the children and guess who is who, it was sooo fun! The school agers loved it!” 

Ha! We also played this game in Quality Classrooms. It was so fun! 

“We’ve used visual cues, visual schedules & transition objects before, but we relied on them very heavily this year to support diversity & inclusion. ” 

“We celebrated the author Frank Asch by having a pancake in his Pajamas day! It was a huge success, and the kids still talk about it. ” 

“Puff paint with shave cream” 

“This year I have started taking my class outside for 30 minutes (regardless of weather conditions). I call this “Outdoor Explore” we do things from just using our imaginations to play, going for walks, gardening, exploring the pond and creek around us etc. I feel this is a great way to start our day by waking up our minds and embracing nature around us. ” 

Outdoor Learning is the best! Oh, and by the way, here’s our blog about outdoor learning. 

“What is one way that you grew professionally this year?” 

“I learned about shared writing. ” 


Credit: Bored Teachers

“I think I grew in my ability to create and maintain positive relationships with a variety of parents whose expectations and communication styles are very different.” 

“I feel this year I have become much more flexible. My space may be tiny. My chairs and tables may be old and mismatched but the kiddos that have created my class family are still full of wonder, excitement, and their own passion to learn. I have been flexible with my schedule, my class dynamics, my expectations of myself. I have learned that I can adjust to change and be just as flexible as our students are with us. ” 

“Working with AAC technology” 

“I stepped into a management role with little notice. As a result, my scope grew and my perspective on supporting the family (and not just the child) grew with it.” 

“What are some useful items you have in the classroom?” 

“Loose parts, dice, Math manipulatives” 


“pens, crayons, scissors, see through storage!” 

The Totes are sized perfectly for larger, bulk items and are see-through to help easily identify the contents. 

“Manipulative visual schedules, multiples of everything, cozy calm corners, open-ended wooden toys” 

Full length mirror” 

Name writing practice cards” 

“Dish washing station”  

Nice markers” 

Enough washable markers for the entire class. Sturdy storage box with 6 convenient, re-usable desktop bins for easy distribution and storage.  

”Mini chalk boards”  

Save paper by using a time-tested and reusable writing surface. Green chalkboards are the perfect size to store in students’ desks or notebooks. 

“Book library and child’s couch” 

Literacy Couch, Wheat: This compact reading couch is perfect for small spaces. Generous book slots hold a multitude of books while the three, included clear Tubs are great for housing literacy items and toys.  

“Markers, pencil crayons crayons paper …. any art supply ” 

Big box of Art Material  

“Flexible seating”  

Cozy Woodland Sit-Arounds. Includes Deep Water Blue, Sky Blue, Sage, Green, Walnut and Almond. 

ErgoErgo An extraordinary seating concept combining the benefits of active sitting with a bold contemporary design. After sitting on ErgoErgo, ordinary chairs seem…well, just ordinary.  

Light Table”  

Multi-function activity table saves valuable classroom space. Use as a tracing table, or with any light table accessory. The LED lights are energy friendly an built to last (rated for 50,000 hours). 

Pocket calendar, sensory swing, kinetic sand” 

“What items do you wish to have in the new school year? And why?” 

Puzzles for a quiet choice time” 

“New outdoor tricycles and 3-wheeled scooters to add to our collection; a tough tray for new types of investigations; a new Preschool Play Kitchen.” 

Tilo Three Wheeled Scooter: Tilo’s quality and safety standards allow children the freedom to experience the joy of motion, the confidence of speed and the adventure of exploration. Features include high quality steel bearings, powder coated steel frame and thermoplastic polyurethane wheels.

Young Time Play Kitchen Set Let your children create their own recipes for imaginative play with this four-piece kitchen set. Includes a refrigerator, sink, stove, and cupboard.  

Blocks, time to renew!” 

“Everything ” 

Ahhh, don’t we all? 

Antique weight scale to learn about weight.” 

“Flags of the world to expand the geographic section and interest.”  

“Outdoor wooden building blocks because we had these in my last school, and they were amazing!” 

“More assortment of art supplies” 

Puppet Theatre (I made one out of a cardboard box but would love something a bit sturdier) 

Puppets (for imaginative play) 

Unit Bricks (100 pieces) (STEM purposes) 

Sand/Water Table (I have so many ideas that would incorporate so many learning opportunities) 

Glue, Pencils, Crayons, Markers, Construction paper (these are things I had to buy with my own money this past year several times and it really adds up) 

Magna Tiles  

Tranquil Trees area rug (we don’t have a rug so they sit on the floor which can be extremely uncomfortable for them)” 

This tabletop puppet theater lets a child’s imagination take center stage. Roll up the velvet curtain to start the show. Roll it closed after the grand finale. Flip the reversible backdrop for an enchanted kingdom or a brilliant sunrise. Assembles in seconds for instant show time.  

Tranquil Trees Rug Happy little trees will be a fun and welcoming addition to any room or learning space! 

Sand & Water Table Economical sand and water units are designed to be durable as well as attractive. Good quality taps, clear lid and a heavy-duty metal frame. 

“Lego, art supplies, loose parts to foster creativity and free exploration with students.” 

“What is your favorite moment from this school year so far?” 

“Community walks” 

“Seeing the blossoming friendships of our young learners; watching new teams come together in supportive ways; hearing families discuss their pride & joy in their children’s learning.” 

“Too many to list! each day has an awesome moment!” 

Good to hear! 

“Probably just laughing with a student when they said something funny. ” 

“Every day …always something new with each day ” 

“Successful field trips” 

“I have a student in my class that is select mute. He is the smartest little guy that has the most contagious smile. This year I have really focused on teaching my little kiddos to self-advocate, using their voice. This little guy may seem like he isn’t paying attention, but he is always listening. One day this past month I was getting him ready to go home and he said in the quietest little voice “I don’t want to” and proceeded to take his backpack off. He won’t say his name. He won’t say my name. We have figured out our own way to communicate with thumbs up/down. But the day I heard his little voice say he didn’t want to go home just melted my heart. He has not said anything since then, but I remind him that I know he has brilliant ideas and heard him speak once before- he just smiles at me. It was rewarding to hear that he didn’t want to go home for the reason I assume is because he enjoys being at school- my goal is to make each of my learners love school and want to be here… made me feel I accomplished that a little bit. ” 

Now that’s a great story to end the blog 😊 

Thank you so much to all the teachers who participated in this questionnaire! Teachers, we hope you all have a great rest of the school year and build more memories with your students. You have done an amazing job! 

Tips for Outdoor Learning in Spring: Interview with Dr. Beverlie Dietze

Quality Classrooms had the opportunity to interview Dr. Beverlie Dietze, for her input on playing outdoors in Spring, as well as her unique view on outdoor learning. You can read this blog and watch the interview for more interesting discussions. Quality Classrooms will also have a webinar with Beverlie soon in May. Stay tuned for more updates!

Toai (Quality Classrooms): 

Hello, everyone! I am Toai, the new host of the Quality Classrooms talk show. Well, I’m not officially a host yet, but if I do well in this interview, I will soon have my own talk show! My guest today is Dr. Beverlie Dietze. She is a researcher, author and educator who’s specialized in outdoor play. Today we’ll talk about why Spring is a great time to get outside and do some outdoor learning activities! For the new listeners, can you please introduce yourself? 


Sure, and thank you so much for this opportunity. I am Beverlie Dietze, a researcher, and more importantly, I’m passionate about supporting educators, families, and children to engage in many experiences that will follow their sense of curiosity, and wonderment outdoors. So that’s my whole focus – how can we support advancing new ways of experimentation and that sense of wonderment outdoors. 

Learn more about Dr. Beverlie Dietze and her work here 



As we know, Spring is here! The days are longer, warmer, the snow is melting, the grass is growing. The environment just looks so inviting, like it’s asking us to come outside and play. This is great because in the winter, the cold, extreme weather usually discourages us from going outside. From your experience, what are the benefits of outdoor learning after a season change? 


It is important to know that children require opportunities to play in all seasons, so we can support children in understanding new information about the environment. Example: To experience the sense of snow on their cheeks; the raindrops falling; the flowers,… Children can see the puddle and run through that puddle, make it splash. Then, they can learn what kind of body movement is required to get the big splashes versus smaller splashes, and the ripple effect.  

So, when we think about Spring in particular, this is the time when you want to pause and ask the children to look at the sky. What do they see? How is the sun different from what it may have been in the winter? What do they see on the trees? What do they smell? What do they hear? Are they beginning to see those bugs come and go? And if so, what are those bugs? 

This is the time when children should see a renewal in life. They may see plants that are coming, they may see those fresh flowers that are coming to people’s gardens. It really is a time to support the children in advancing their interests, their desire, and their abilities to draw upon previous information that they know of seasons and bring in new information. When I think about children and getting them outdoors, this is the time when you want to have magnifying glasses always in your pockets so children can take them out and just imagine what they see. It is when you want children to touch and feel the grass or the bushes to engage in that piece, when you want to support children in skipping and engage in body movements. Spring is a time when you really want to support children in being able to move and to experience the cold because at times it’s still going to be cold! They may still find ice on the paddles. 


Here in Winnipeg, for sure you can experience the cold! 

A baby enjoying Spring in Winnipeg.



I’ve read your blogs and I’m very impressed by the recommendations for activities for outdoor play you came up with. You list the benefits of the activities, you back up with scientific sources, citations, and sometimes even examples from your own experience. Do you have any recommendations for activities to do in spring? 


When we think about children in play, we want to look at their space and place. As adults, our role is to offer children the materials that will provoke their thinking. So as opposed to suggesting activities, what we really want to do is to work with the children to see what they’re interested in, and then support the children in pursuing that. When we think of children, and the first time they see a worm, what are they going to do? They will ask “Where are the digging materials? I need something to dig, I need to see if I can find more worms.” So, they find the worms and then they’ll wonder again “What am I going to do with these worms? Ah, I really want to watch these worms!” So that’s when you have the worm containers. That’s when you have the books that will support the children in thinking about those pieces. When you think about children and tricycles, we’re not going to say “Today, let’s go on your tricycles”.  You’re going to put the tricycles in some very interesting spaces, and then see what the children do with them.  

For me, it’s not about “Here are the activities that we will do”, but rather how can we be a facilitator of opportunity that will really trigger that sense of curiosity with the children. Therefore, it’s the support materials that we put nearby that will lead children to put this piece of information together with this, and then they move into a process that we call ideation – “Oh, I see this, I could do this with this”. And then you can see that the play will go on in very unique and innovative ways. 


We usually think of “what activities to do in this kind of season”. But from your answer, I learn that…just let children go outside! And then whenever they like something, we will be there to support them in exploring that further. And of course, having the necessary materials nearby will facilitate their imagination, and the inspiration to let them go and do more activities. Great answer!  

Instead of thinking “what activities”, we should consider “how can we inspire them?”



With the advancement of technology, children have more options to entertain themselves. They don’t even need to go outside to find entertainment. Today, outdoor learning has to compete against video games, movies, and other forms of entertainment. How do you encourage children to go outside and learn? 


The key is to have role models for the children, and with the children. If I am an adult, and I want my children to really embrace the outdoor environment, I have to illustrate how important that is to me, I have to talk about the beauty of the season with the children. I want to build that sense of wonder, so that the children do want to go out. It starts with the adults in the children’s lives. 

 If you have children that are really connected to that technology, then as an adult, we have to say, how can we start to support the child in building that love for outdoor play and at the same time, have the opportunity to use that technology? If we have little munchkins – as I like to call them with a term of endearment, if we have them hooked on technology, get them out to find things! Geocaching is a very important way in which we can get children to use their technology and at the same time, tromping through the woods, going from one street to another in a neighborhood to try and find those items. If children have the ability to use camera, or whatever tools they can to document what they are seeing, have the children take those tools outside and say, “We’re going to find five trees that have different bark on them!” And then we’re going to take the photos so that we remember and then we can come back and talk about that. That’s how we trigger children to actually redefine how they can connect outdoors. Remember, we all have a very important role in supporting the children in building that love of outdoors, from an environmental stewardship perspective, from a climate change perspective, on from the notion of how we are going to build sustainable opportunities within the environments in which we live. We take it one step at a time. Again, we try to figure out what the children are interested in. And then how can we connect that with the outdoors?  


So instead of fighting technology for the children’s attention, like “Okay, you shouldn’t be on your phone anymore, go outside and play”, your solution is that we should try to incorporate technology (or whatever children are into) with outdoor play. It will inspire children to go outside and expand more. Then they’ll fall in love with the outdoor environment. 


Just to expand on that. So, we’re always trying to trigger children’s curiosity, right? Going back to the example that I had of the trees, if I knew which five trees, I was going to have the children actually take photos off, I would also have baskets of intriguing materials there. So that they’ll take the photos, but they also look at the baskets to see what is there. So, again, you’re trying to enhance or entice them to see the world from multiple lenses, and from the perspective of how they may deviate from that technology to really embrace that open ended opportunity. 

More on the importance of language in outdoor learning in the interview

Trigger children’s curiosity!



What are some characteristics of the Spring weather and environment that educators can utilize to give children a great outdoor learning experience?  


There are just so many! The puddles, of course. The new sticks that children find because during the winter, that’s mother nature’s way of trimming the trees. There is the sense of mud. And then there are pinecones. They provide opportunities to bring math and science into the outdoor space.  

When we think about Spring, it is looking, feeling the rain and the wind. Sometimes we’ll think “Oh, it’s too windy for the children.” Now, we want the children to feel, and think about that. I often provide children with umbrellas. I look at umbrellas as a scientific marvel for children, not only because children have to put them up and down and utilize the mechanism to get them to stand out, but also the imaginary play that occurs with an umbrella. The moment that they have umbrellas outdoors and it’s raining, then music comes to their mind! Tip, tap, top, you know, whatever is happening to the umbrella. It’s that sense of I can be Mary Poppins outdoors on a windy day. Right?  

So just looking at what is beneficial in your environment and then not stopping the children – that’s the key piece. Yes, it might be a little chilly for us as adults. Maybe we don’t want to go out.  “Is the wind going to cause our hair to blow all over?”. However, we want the children to experience that. We want them to connect with all aspects of the weather conditions. Let them have their snack outdoors with the sun shining on their face, so they can see and feel the heat of the sun. There isn’t one particular thing that I can identify. It’s to observe, and then act upon whatever those gifts of nature are within the local community. 

Let children connect with all aspects of the environment.



What are some must-have outdoor toys?  For example, tricycles,…


Sure, tricycles are important. Children want to be carrying things. So, they need buckets. They need shovels, because we want them to have instruments that they can engage in the mud on. They need things to cart items from one spot to another. I also believe that there should be wagons in space. I always like to put moving dollies, so that children can utilize those items, or that piece of apparatus to move one thing to another. I want children to have opportunities to have lots of wood. So certainly, put the blocks into the space. When you have wood, you will also think about planks, or pieces of plywood so that children can embrace those pieces. Where is it that the children can have that creative moment? Whether it’s in our diesel, or on paper, or on a piece of plywood, where are those opportunities? 

 Mirrors are absolutely vital during the Spring, because they’re the opportunity to reflect. It’s when we put mirrors near trees that are just starting to bud and then the children are engaged in utilizing that as an experience of science and wonderment. It helps them to solidify what the shadow is and how shadows are created. So, we also want to offer unique, innovative materials that are going to advance children’s sense of “I wonder if” “I wonder what happens”. 

We sometimes forget the importance of having baskets of books outside. When we think about what we like to do as adults, it can be very joyful to take a book outside, look at it and experience it. Well, that would be very similar to children! I always like to put great big boots outside that children can slip in. If you can get men’s large boots and have those outside, then it adds a new dimension. Children put their feet in and then when they’re trying to move, we’re advancing their physical activity. Certainly, there should be items for them to climb on. Whatever those items are, whether it’s a structured piece of play apparatus, or tree stumps that they can move, they need to be able to make decisions about moving their bodies in unique ways.  

When I think about outdoor play and Spring, I would also look at what tools to have. If there are bushes in the play space, you can begin to support children in understanding the importance of pruning in the Spring and bring that experience to the children. So, we want to have gardening materials. Do you have gloves? And do you know those kinds of tools so that they can embrace their environment that way as well? 


It’s more about looking at the environment and see “With this environment, what tools can I put that will encourage children’s sense of exploration, and curiosity?” Understanding the materials helps too – today I learned about the importance of books in outdoor play! 

Adventure time!



From your experience working with different childcare, and you see how they operate outdoor play, do you have any suggestions on how to organize great outdoor plays? 


Well, I think that when we examine outdoor learning, it has to start with the adults. You have to develop that sense of passion. That is the key piece to this, particularly adults that are working in early learning and childcare programs, because they are incredible influencers of the experiences that children engage. Another point is to understand that children need elements that are going to trigger their curiosity. So, it can’t be the same space with the same materials on a daily basis, you want to add some unique pieces of materials, and you want to put those materials in places that you normally wouldn’t think children would look for. What happens when you put paper around the trunk of the tree, and then have children engage in an art experience there? It’s very different from them working on a flat by easel. You want to be looking at the attributes of the space, and then how you can add new opportunities there.  

Where is it that children can have that dramatic play experience? Dramatic play is more than a housekeeping center. It should expand into all kinds of opportunities for children to use their imagination, because that imaginary play then influences their language and their literacy skills later. So, we really need to do some brainstorming and say, “what do we want the children to experience?”. If this is what we want the children to experience, then what are the gaps in our current practice? And then how might we be able to facilitate new ways of thinking and doing to provide new options for the children? 


Great. And with that, I conclude our interview today! Thank you, Beverlie, for some great points. We’ve learned so much about the importance of role models, and how we inspire children to fall in love with outdoor play. Thank you for your time, and for the listener, have a great Spring ahead! 

We had a great time talking! I missed the opportunity to say: “It’s time to SPRING outside for some outdoor play”, so here is another Spring joke: 

How excited was the gardener about Spring? So excited he wet his plants! 

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? 

Someone asked me: “What are your new year’s resolutions?”. I panicked for a moment, and answered: “I don’t know…be healthy, go to the gym, eat more vegetables, save money?” I’ve been setting new year’s resolutions since ’06 and for most of them, I’d forget by February (sometimes even sooner). But hey, I tried! I wrote the goals down on a piece of paper and stuck them on the door of my room. I recorded myself reciting the goals and listened to the recordings daily. They just didn’t stick in my mind! It took me so long to make new year’s resolutions and actually complete everything on the list. I’ve learned a lot from trial & error and now know to set realistic goals and finish them. How about you? As educators, accomplishing your goals can make huge improvements on the development of the young ones. It also inspires students to have innovative mindsets and improve themselves. Below are 10 great new year’s resolutions for teachers, hope they can provide you with inspiration to start off the year right! 

Goal 1: A Positive Learning Environment 

Talk about starting off the year right! Learning is an emotional process, and we feel different emotions when we’re in the classroom – excited to share our ideas, embarrassed when we’re wrong, and upset when we’re discouraged.  A positive learning environment is where students feel accepted, seen, and valued for their opinions. It motivates students to learn, explore and learn to be respectful to others. You can make the classrooms a positive place by using positive language/affirmations in your daily teachings, reinforcing positive actions by rewarding students who exhibit good behaviours, and most importantly, being a positive role model for children to follow. Remember, there is always a positive way to respond to a situation! 

Good Behaviour Buckets

Goal 2: Refresh the Classroom 

You know what they always say: “New year, new me.” Cliché? Yes, but it’s true. Renewing the classroom is necessary to make you comfortable, increase your efficiency and boost your productivity. It also keeps students excited to see the classroom cleaned and renewed. Replace any old or broken classroom tools with new ones, organize the storage unit, get rid of any excess files or papers on your desk, and get new classroom gadgets too! Alternative seating options are some great additions to the classroom: Bouncyband for Desks, which enable kids to have an outlet for excess energy while working, alleviating anxiety, hyperactivity, and boredom, and increasing focus and performance. Bouncyband Fidget Foot Roller, which includes a roller for kids to be active while sitting, silently releases excess energy, alleviates anxiety, and increases focus.    

BouncyBand Fidget Foot Roller

Goal 3: Take Risks! 

Taking risks in the classroom is exciting and thrilling at the same time, as your decision will affect the learning process of the students. However, it brings tremendous benefits. Taking risks helps educators overcome their own fears and create innovative solutions in their classrooms. Inspiring students to take risks will help them to raise their self-esteem, think more creatively and even when risk-taking fails, they learn to become more resilient.  And risk-taking doesn’t have to be something grand like building a rocket. Like most great things, it starts with small steps. Starting a project over from scratch when plans don’t work out, having students learn to trust their classmates during group activities, encouraging and appreciating students who have forward, innovative thinking are some of the small risk-taking decisions you can make in the new year. Here’s another cliché (but true!) quote: “The biggest risk of all is not taking one!” 

Goal 4: Read more books!  

The joy of reading. Need I say more? Reading gives children a deep understanding of the world and receives background knowledge. It helps them make sense of what they see, and hear, which aids their cognitive development. Reading at an early age not only allow children to have better vocabulary and learn to express themselves, but it also helps children to be more empathetic, as books usually portray various characters with different perspectives. Share with students about your reading experiences: what you’ve been reading and what you’ve learned from the books.  Set up book clubs, reading groups and encourage them to socialize around reading. Sometimes, it just takes one good book for students to fall in love with reading, so recommend them a good one to read! Inuit Stories Series, and Opposite Series are some cool examples. Check out the Books too! 

Inuit Stories Series

Goal 5: Be Present for Students’ Emotional Needs 

Today, the duties and responsibilities of teachers go beyond what is described in the job description. Not only do educators have to meet academic standards, prepare for assessments, and other administrative requirements, teachers must acknowledge and address students’ emotional needs. Many students who misbehave or act differently might have unknown problems. Daily situations like arguments or asking for help might seem simple to adults, but for young minds who are not developed, learning to deal with them can be difficult. Introduce children to social-emotional learning (SEL), which aims to foster social and emotional skills. Emotion-oes Domino Game, Social Scenario Activities are both fun and educational games for children to learn how to identify and manage their emotions. Let students know that their mental health is important, offer activities to do in class that are stress-reducing such as listening to calm music, and encourage kids to be more open and talk about their problems. Yoga is often mentioned as one of the most effective tools for stress management and mindfulness, so start implementing short yoga sessions in class could be a good idea! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Activity Set includes beautifully illustrated and simply written yoga cards that will develop breathing, balancing, focusing, calming, and more.  

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Activity Set

Goal 6: A Multicultural and Inclusive Classroom 

Diversity is becoming an increasingly important topic in current times and will continue to be the main theme in our children’s development. Understanding these topics helps the kids to admire the difference in individuals, treat everyone with respect, make the classroom more inclusive, and build the necessary skill to communicate/work with different people in the future. Teaching children about diversity can start with letting kids know/explore unfamiliar cultures. Around The World Set includes 48 beautiful pieces that replicate iconic landmarks of the world such as Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Pyramids of Giza. Hello World! Floor Puzzle includes pictures of multicultural children dressing in traditional clothing and greetings from various languages in the world. 

Hello World! Floor Puzzle

Goal 7: It’s About Learning, Not Grades 

“How do I get an A?”, “When is it due?”, “Is this chapter on the test?”. As teachers, these questions can make you upset, knowing that students care about grades rather than what they learn from the lesson. Educators want the best for their students, which is giving them useful knowledge, and inspiration to learn more. Hence, emphasizing learning over grades is important because it encourages students to be more active in what they want to learn, to control their personal educational process and goal-setting. Start using a different language in the classroom that highlights the learning process of the student rather than emphasizing the grade. When talking to the parents, talk about the student’s improvement in certain areas, instead of how low/high the grade is. Provide feedback on skills like creativity, effort, collaboration and use rubrics with simple, observable skills to allow students more room to be creative! 

Goal 8: Flexible Classrooms 

A flexible classroom is a space that provides students with various choices to choose how they learn, how they apply the knowledge, and how they work with others. Flexible learning environments are becoming a priority in schools because it improves learning outcome and increases teachers’ effectiveness. You can make your classroom more flexible first by reorganizing the classroom’s furniture so that there is more space for movement. Dividing the classroom into learning zones, and including boards, or writing surfaces so students can express their ideas down. Aktivity Adjustable Marker Board Table is great for students to share their ideas, and effectively promote creativity and mental engagement. A Flexible learning environment also includes a wide variety of seating options. Innovate seating gives students the freedom to where and how they want to learn. Wiggle Stool allows students to… wiggle, with an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. ErgoErgo has a bold contemporary design, so children are active while sitting. After students sit on an ErgoErgo, they won’t go back to ordinary chairs!



Goal 9: Be More Active in the Classroom 

Schoolwork can be tiresome for the young ones. They want to explore, do fun stuff, and be active. Being active in the classroom improves students’ concentration, reducing behaviour such as fidgeting. Sometimes recess is not enough, not to mention in this weather, students can’t even get outside! Teachers have to get creative and give them more options to be active in the classroom. A few solutions to be active in the classroom were mentioned above – yoga, and cool seatings. Loose Parts and Arts & Crafts are great options to get the tiny hands active after hours of sitting and writing. Teachers can also make the classroom livelier by allowing more opportunities for group work and collaboration. Let students talk, and share ideas with friends.  Come up with activities to get them to move around, and encourage friendly competition with games, and quizzes. Math Marks The Spot Game, Spelligator are fun games that encourage friendly competition and keep young minds active. Don’t forget to check out the Active Play options! Spring will be coming in no time! 


Goal 10: Give Yourself a Medal 

Children are our future – and you are positively shaping the future by taking care of them and inspiring them to develop valuable virtues such as the love for knowledge, and kindness. You’ve worked tirelessly to create a positive learning environment, and you always go the extra mile to help students make progress. In a profession where it’s required to be continuously creative, positive, inspiring, and patient, you deserve a medal every day for going to work. Take care of yourself, drink enough water, eat healthy food, exercise, and most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

In Conclusion:

A good new year resolution doesn’t have to be a “great” achievement. It should be something that you enjoy doing, bring long term benefit, and of course – include a considerable amount of challenge. You should feel inspired working towards your new year resolution. Your journey to change might be rocky and full of obstacles, but like they always say, “You have to get through the rain if you’re ever going to see a rainbow”. Cliché? Yes, but it’s true! 

Hope you find your New Year’s Resolutions. 

Diversity and Equality: From the Classroom to the World 

Diversity and Equality are becoming increasingly important topics in current times and will continue to be the main theme in our children’s development. Understanding these topics helps the kids to admire the difference in individuals, treat everyone with respect, and build the necessary skill to communicate/work with different people in the future.

Diversity is the differences between humans and what make us unique. It includes physical characteristics such as ethnicity, gender identity, disability, physical or mental ability, and intangible values such as class, culture, religious beliefs, language, and many more. Teaching children to recognize and respect individual differences is the cornerstone to promote diversity.  

Equality is believing in the right of everyone to have equal treatment, and access to the same resources and opportunities. Inclusion is the practice that embraces both the concept of diversity and equality, by making sure that everyone is treated fairly and being respected regardless of their differences. An inclusive classroom is where students can feel a sense of belonging – knowing that they are loved for who they are. 

 Teaching children about diversity can start with letting kids know/explore unfamiliar cultures. Here are a few fun activities that children can both play/learn about the world around us: 

I. Holiday – Every day!  

  • Take the nice shoes out. Put on your best outfit. Because it is a holiday today! We recommend researching, choosing, and enjoying festivals that represent the cultures of the world. Examples: Chinese New Year, Diwali, and Hanukkah. Celebrating the holidays from your students’ cultures is also an effective way to make them feel involved and proud of their roots.
  • Dressing in traditional clothes of the culture chosen. Encouraging children to do the same on their holiday. Learning about the selected culture’s traditional clothing. Around the world figures are the writer’s favorite. They are chunky, soft, friendly-looking figures that are dressed in beautiful cultural outfits. They are great for creative play and are wonderful tools to let children know about the details of diverse cultural outfits. 
  • Serving food/snacks or letting children play with food set from the culture chosen. What is a party without food? Introducing kids to the foods of the world is a fantastic way for them to learn about different cultures, and food is just always a great theme. The Sushi Set (See picture below!) includes several types of sushi, and a wooden board so children can serve sushi to others. An excellent introduction to the famous dish of Japan. 
  • Making crafts of different objects that represent the chosen culture. The Tepee Craft Kit is a great tool to help educate children about the history of Indigenous people.  

II. Fun, spontaneous ideas.

  • These fun activities can be done anytime and will help children to develop empathy, and respect for other people. 
  • Play music from different countries: Select children’s songs, or famous songs with relaxing/positive messages from different countries. The songs can be played in the background while students work or have fun. Encourage them to take part in the playlist and put in their own recommendations! Introduce children to different musical instruments of the world. Multicultural Rhythm Set includes musical instrument toys from various South American countries, and we are sure that it will keep the atmosphere always festive! 
  • Arts of the world: Art is a fascinating topic and always will be. Explore dances, paintings, literature, and other forms of art around the world.  
  • Use the bulletin board: decorate the bulletin board with information about a distinct culture: images of locations, simple words of the natives, food pictures, events, and locations on the map. Change the bulletin board monthly to a different culture for more variation. Crayola Holiday Series is a great fit for these activities as they have colours that relate to symbols, and customs of the holidays around the world such as Chinese New Year, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo, Diwali, Halloween, … Let the young ones have the joy of decorating the bulletin board! 
  • Play Trivia: After learning about different countries, it is time to test students’ knowledge. The key to every trivia is fun, so make sure to hand out prizes for correct answers to increase friendly competition! Around the world paper collection is a complete set of gorgeous papers that include 48 unique patterns in African, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Australian Aboriginal cultures. A compelling prize for students who like crafting, decorating, or collecting cultural pieces. 
  • Games from around the world: Research and introduce children to international games, from board games to outdoor activities. 

III. Equality – Start from the classroom first. 

  • Teaching children about Equality from an early age is a wonderful way to help them build valuable traits such as empathy, love, understanding, and consideration for other people.
  • Pronounce & remember classmates’ names: Try to encourage students to practice saying and remembering their classmates’ names correctly. This activity will help children build relationships and make the classroom environment more inclusive. 
  • Increase awareness about other countries’ living standards: Using the Explorer Globe to teach children about world problems. Let one volunteer point to any country in the world and spend time learning about that country’s living standards. Do people have access to school? Do they have access to food, and clean water?
  • Let children know about organizations that are dedicated to bringing equal opportunities to everyone such as World Education – a non-profit organization that improves people’s lives through education, social and economic development. This is a great introduction for children to social studies – the study of people in relation to each other and to the world in which they live.
  • Depending on the ages of the children, explain to them the idea that not everyone is equal in the world, and each of us can contribute to a better society by treating everyone around us equally. 
  • Bring your culture to the classroom: Give students an assignment to bring an item/items that represent their culture to the classroom. Then have them present in front of the class about the item and why it is important to the chosen culture. If students cannot bring an item, have them make a presentation about what they are most proud of in their culture. It can be anything: arts, food, traditions, … 
  • Guest speaker: Invite people from other cultures to come to the classrooms and share their experiences. Children will be fascinated by the stories, the traditional outfits, the difference in customs, and of course, the languages. Kids will also learn about different living situations, and sometimes even the feeling of the individual when being discriminated against. It will be an unforgettable and thrilling experience for them! 

IV. Using tools/objects that promote inclusion in daily learning. 

  • Diversity and Equality do not need to be reminded of or taught daily. We recommend using products that represent different races in daily teachings to let the idea implement seamlessly. 
  • Playtime can also be both educational and fun! We have a range of dolls from different races to choose from. Female Doll, Indigenous is a good option to let children play with and let them get used to different races of people. Possible Family is also our line of products that include sets of family figures from various races that enable several types of imaginative scenario play. 
  • While teaching children about emotions and feelings, we recommend using Children’s faces from around the world puzzle. It includes award-winning photos that depict children from different races showing various emotions. It is a great tool to learn about emotions and introduce children to different faces and features of people. 
  • Introduce children to different careers using Multiethnic Career Puppets. These puppets depict multiethnic men and women in non-sexist career roles, so children can learn about jobs without prejudice and discrimination. 
  • Around The World Set includes 48 beautiful pieces that replicate iconic landmarks of the world such as Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Pyramids of Giza. Let the young ones be mesmerized by some of the world’s greatest civilizations, as well as teach them that each culture has dazzling treasures to be proud of.   
  • Indigenous Peoples of Canada Book helps educate children about First Nations in Canada. This book specifically looks at the Cree, Anishinaabe (Ojibway), and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and also includes an educator’s guide to teaching Native Studies in the classroom. 
  • Reach Across the World Rug is big, comfortable, and has drawings of 20 children dressed in cultural outfits, with the world map in the background. Not only does it look charming and delightful, but it can also be a great tool for teachers to bring the idea of diversity to children. “Many countries, many children, but only one world” is the message. 

Learning about Diversity and Equality should be a delightful and stimulating experience, as kids get to discover the beauty and uniqueness of distinct cultures and learn how to treat people fairly. Encourage students to have open conversations – about topics such as living standards, various customs of people, or simply the question of why each of us is so “different” from another. Take them on a journey to explore the beauty of cultures around the world: food, landmarks, arts, and let them know that every culture in the world is beautiful and full of pleasant surprises. Make the classroom an inclusive environment where everyone is valued by their opinions, background and teach children to treat everyone equally.