Getting Kids Outdoors in Nature NoVA Outside Conference

Whether you’re an early childhood educator, a parent or a grandparent, there are tremendous benefits to getting children outdoors in nature. This Saturday, NoVA Outside is organizing a half-day conference called “Getting Kids Outdoors in Nature: Making it Happen” to provide support, strategies, ideas and the reasoning behind getting outside that will inspire any adult working with young children.

If you’ve been wondering why nature is so important for children’s growth and development or looking for strategies to offer more nature play and exploration to your children or students, this half-day conference will give you the chance to learn from preschool directors, teachers and naturalists.

Outdoor Education and Nature Connection Specialist  Amy Beam will be giving the keynote address: “Creating Nature Programs for Young Children—You can do it!” Beam has worked as an outdoor educator locally with DC’s Franklin Montessori School, and she appeared in the film Mother Nature’s Child.

In this clip, Beam talks about the way our suburban habits keep children from connecting to the earth.

Join the conversation on Saturday by sharing your successes and struggles and meeting with other nature-enthusiast parents and children.
The conference offers the following breakout sessions indoors & outdoors:
  • Fun activities, games, songs and techniques to awaken and deepen children’s innate love of nature and learning with Amy Beam
  • Trials and triumphs of adding experiences in nature to their programs with Early Childhood program Directors Susan Parker, Margaret Moran and Debbie Brown
  • Exploring nature in non-wild places with Naturalist Educator Sarah Glassco
  • Making the most of kids’ encounters with small creatures, safety and handling tips with Capital Naturalist‘s Alonso Abugattas
  • Building trust in the outdoors for all children and their families with Takoma Park Cooperative Preschool Director Lesley Romanoff

The conference takes place at Fairlington United Methodist Church, 3900 King Street, Alexandria, VA on Saturday, March 25, 2017. Registration begins at 8:30. The program is 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

As you might imagine, this event will take place rain or shine! Come dressed for the weather! Wear comfortable “get-messy” clothes!

A box lunch is included. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mug or bottle to refill as needed.

The registration fee is $65. To register, click on the “Registration and Information link on the NoVA Outside website at or go to

NoVA Outside previously held a screening of Mother Nature’s Child.

NoVA Outside is currently taking registrations for school teams grades 5-12 for the showcase and recycled music instrument festival and is accepting eco-partners for the 6th annual School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) to be held on April 25 at George Mason University.

Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life and was the founder and a longtime leader of the Arlington/Alexandria Chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Jessica has volunteered with NoVA Outside. She is a writer and editor who is working on her first novel. Find information about her writing and about the editing and business consulting services she offers at She also volunteers on issues related to wellness in public schools. Jessica’s personal blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama, on Facebook at For more information, see Jessica’s Mindful Healthy Life Q&A.


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Copyright © 2015 Mindful Healthy Life. Created by MtoM Consulting.

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