Wednesday, April 6, 2011

10 top outdoor play blogs

You've probably guessed by now that I am a huge fan of outdoor play. 

In an age when a complex web of circumstances pressures seem to be keeping our kids indoors more than ever I believe that one of my most important roles as a teacher is to give our kids lots of time for free and unstructured play outdoors.

Here are 10 fellow bloggy types who feel the same way. 

Generous with sharing their knowledge, resources and experiences, their posts both motivate and inspire me.  If you have an interest in connecting the young people in your life to nature, then these are good folk to have on your team:

"Caro &Co is a blog dedicated to sharing information, tips and inspiration on how to engage children with nature, outdoors, food and food sources and healthy living.  No preaching here we promise.  Just suggestions on fun things to do with kids."

Juliet Robertson is an outdoor learning consultant from Scotland who is passionate about getting children outside.  Her blog is chock full of practical advice and tips on outdoor learning and creating outdoor learning environments. 

Check out Juliet's Delicious bookmarks in the right hand column.  If you are ever in need of an article or link on outdoor on nature play, chances are you will find it here.

Simply dripping with accomplishments that you can read about on her 'About' page, Bethe Almeras believes:
...that childhood was meant to be messy. Muddy. Slimy. Silly. And most of all, joyful. Steeped in awe and wonder, childhood should be spent outdoors as much as possible, and should rely on imagination and whimsy as much as it does on rules and regulations.
4. rusty's blog: notes from the natural playground

Rusty Keeler of Earthplay fame, and author of Natural Playscapes believes that:
...children should be surrounded by beautiful environments filled with nature, art and love.
If you are after inspiration to create the natural playscape of your dreams there are wonderful examples of others doing the same to get your imagination and creative juices flowing.

Marghanita is an author and illustrator who believes that:
When children and nature mix, something magical happens – every child deserves that Magic!
This is a blog with gorgeous images and is full of inspiration for getting kids outdoors and connecting them with nature.

Lily is a forest school practitioner who gets to play outside for a living and she blogs about her experiences.  Lily's post Reflections on Forest Schools is a great place to start.

Debi's blog is where connecting kids with nature is what its all about.  If you are looking for ideas for exploring nature with kids, then you are in the right place.  Debi's latest post "32 Ideas for Spring Outdoor Fun" should keep you busy for a while.

Although not an outdoor or nature play blog per se, Tom's approach to outdoor play and learning in a preschool setting is always an inspiration.  Just have a read of his latest post "climbing the homemade ladder" and you will see what I'm talking about.

Amy is building up an impressive list of outdoor classroom ideas perfect for teachers or parents to get their kids playing, learning and having fun outdoors.

Kierna is a preschool teacher who embraces the idea of  playing outside, whatever the weather.  Her blog is a glimpse inside a preschool setting where outdoor play is valued and full of inspiration for others who feel the same way.  Just take a look at their Forest Adventures.

Over to you.
Do you blog about outdoor play, or children and nature?
Do you have a favorite outdoor play blog?
Lets share the love by sharing the links in the comments.


  1. Thanks for this list Jenny. I'll be spending this evening looking in on these blogs.

    A treasure of outdoor ideas!

  2. Jenny
    Fabulous list! I have to add MovingSmart for #11...


  3. Excellent timing! We're wanting to make some changes in the back yard, but really want to stay away from the plastic monstrosities that seem to be everywhere. Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. My blog is It's all about kids' play in neighborhoods.

  5. I'm putting all of these in my reader Jenny. It couldn't be more timely. We've just learned that we're going to be relocating for the summer (perhaps permanently). We have probably 5 times more outdoor space! I'm proud of what we've been doing in our little courtyard and with our little garden, but I'm excited to start digging into all of these for more, more, more ideas! =)

    (And, of course, thanks for including me!)

  6. What a great list! Thanks for sharing.

    I have a blog about creating learning landscapes of all types.


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  8. Blush. Sheesh. Thanks!

    I'm delighted, pleased and a little embarrassed to be given such an honourable mention.

    I often feel my blog is in "no man's land" as it doesn't quite fit the pre-school category (too many primary school posts), or the play category (too many formal lessons), or even the teaching category (too much play) or the parent blogs (too much school talk) or the landscape design blog (not knowledgeable enough).

    So it's lovely of you to give it a mention. Thanks again. Oh and Playborhood and Landartista are great blogs!

  9. We have a blog for our year-round parent/child hiking group here in Alaska

  10. I couldn't agree more with your list of incredible outdoor blogs Jenny, each one inspiring in it's own way. You just missed one out ... I think many, many people would agree 'let the children play' deserves to be right up there on top!
    Donna :) :)

  11. Hi Jenny,

    You again have created a wonderful resource. Thank you for all you continue to do to create the awareness and help spread the word to get our kids outside to play!

    I was going to suggest Moveing Smart... but I see you are already going to add it!

    I frequently write post on my blogs about how nature, play, and time outdoors benefits the developing brain. You may like to also know about a resource for nature activity ideas and information on the benefits to the brain called, Naturally Developing Brains. 50% of the proceeds go toward supporting nature preschool efforts and getting additional children learning outdoors!

    Thanks again for this valuable post. I will share it with many! Our kids need every adult to understand the importance of play!

    Enjoy the day,

  12. Thrilled and honored to be included in your fabulous list jenny. You are a constant inspiration and your enthusiasm for children and play is infectious. Love, love, love your blog! Each one of the above brings their own unique way of getting kids outdoors and fills me with hope for the future. Wishing you all a beautiful evening! Peace and love xxx

  13. As an Early Childhood Educator, I have been marvelling at all the wonderful and inspiring blogs that are mentioned here on your site. It is so, so nice to see so many like minded educators devoted to play and the simple moments in childhood. Thank you! Jade x

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  15. Hi Jenny
    I came across your blog via the Children and Nature Network, a great resource which I've just joined, especially the CNN connect area. My blog is which has the purpose of "inspiring you and your family to get in, on and around the water"...I write about my adventures in a tinny with small children and labrador in tow, hoping to inspire people living near the water to make the most of it. You've already mentioned two of my favourites, Caro and Co and Marghanita.

  16. This is great. I have been thinking a lot about outdoor play lately and recently got involved with an outdoor play link up on Friday's.
    Love the list and so many of these blogs!

  17. Jenny, Wow! I don't know how this post passed me by. Thank you so much. Honoured to be included in such good company. I'll have to add to your list - I can think of many more. I love our #playoutdoors gang! x

  18. Nice list. I'd add the wonderful playground designs blog. Quirky, snappy, quietly inspirational. I'm planning to launch my own blog soon - will comment again here when I do.

  19. it really feel great doing with them,great thinking.

  20. This is a fantastic list! Thanks for all the great ideas! I am the Outdoor Curriculum Coordinator at a preschool and just started a blog on the Outdoor Classroom. I just started working on it, so the content is limited. I'd love it if you could take a look and give me your thoughts! Thanks again for all your work!

  21. I am so excited about all of the voices raised in praise of outdoor play! Love how our blogging community just grows and grows...!!

  22. My blog is a homeschooling/parenting blog and I have just posted a list of outdoor play ideas here: if you are interested.

  23. I have just posted about outdoor play ideas over at my blog if anyone is interested

  24. My blog is a homeschooling/parenting blog and I have just posted a list of outdoor play ideas here: if you are interested.

  25. Looking forward to reading some new blogs . This is one if my favorites with an outdoor linky that I try to join in with

  26. I write at Lots of free resources for enhancing children's education with nature.

  27. I have a mix of outdoor, Montessori, gardening and cooking on our blog. My recent post was about camping with little ones. Thanks for opening up your blog for sharing.

  28. Look forward to visiting those outdoor blogs who share the same lifestyle we do. Any suggestions on how to keep my boys inside :))) they have so much fun and it's hard to lure them in.

  29. We work with small groups of students to help improve their self confidence and ability to learn the National Curriculum subjects through practical activities. Almost every subject at Secondary level can be taught through the outdoors:

  30. Great blog,All the outdoor activities looks interesting ,Keep the good work going,
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  31. Your tips are very useful! Many thanks for contributing them! Keep up the good work, and I think that this article can be also taken into consideration!