Six partner schools from 6 European countries: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey - work in collaboration to create innovative educational methods and methodical materials equipping teachers with knowledge and skills to guide children in connecting with nature, allowing them to spend more time outdoors, promoting health and wellbeing, as well as developing international cooperation amongst teachers.
Several studies in Europe have shown that children playing in nature advance their creative thinking, intellectual development and problem-solving capacities. The same studies have also found that kids who engage in playtime outdoors also play more cooperatively with other children.
Moreover, research in the U.S. shows that children's regular contact with the natural world contributes to a child's love and empathy for nature. Also, positive early childhood experiences with nature impact the healthy growth of a child's mind, body and spirit. Hands-on, informal, self-initiated discovery in local, familiar environments is often described as the best way to inspire children and cultivate a sense of place and a "sense of wonder".
Some European countries such as Norway, Finland, UK and Germany have been integrating aspects of Nature Education into their regular preschool environment for years. However, the idea of 'Using Nature as a learning environment' in ECEC is still uncommon in many European countries, including Turkey and Romania. Our project "Kids In Nature" aims to inspire educators from such countries to create nature-based learning opportunities and curricula for preschool children.
"Kids In Nature" is funded under the Erasmus+ programme.
Project no.: 2020-1-LT01-KA229-077835_1
Beneficiary: Alytus kindergarten "Volungele"
National Agency: Education Exchanges Support Foundation (Švietimo mainų paramos fondas)
Key Action: KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: KA229 - School Exchange Partnerships
Start of Project: 01/09/2020
End of Project: 31/08/2023
Project Duration: 36 months