Upcoming Events

8:00 AM08:00

Upper Valley Teaching Place Conference

8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Friday, November 1, 2019

David Sobel will be giving a keynote on place-based education. He will also be facilitating a Principal’s Symposium on Whole School Nature/Place-based Education. More information on the conference is forthcoming. Contact Christina Wild at for additional details.

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to Sep 15

Natural History for Early Childhood

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A course in the Nature-based Early Childhood Certificate program at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.  Available as an individual course for audit or credit for interested students not enrolled in the Certificate program.

9 a.m. – 5 p.m., September 14-15, 2019
Faculty: Ellen Doris and David Sobel

The best forest kindergarten and nature-based preschool teachers are knowledgeable about young children and local natural history. This course will focus on learning the natural history of northern New England that most directly relates to being outdoors with children. Wildflowers, fungi, bugs and tadpoles are some of the topics considered, along with nature art, tracking, wild edibles, and using children's literature as a vehicle to nature exploration. Seasonal events of autumn will serve as a model for how to discover nature’s surprises at any time of year. We’ll be outside regardless of the weather, and discuss ways to keep children engaged under cold and/or wet conditions.

For registration information: contact Sarah Wilson in the Admissions Office at, 800-552-8380.

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7:00 PM19:00

Dummerston Conservation Commission Community Lecture

Wild Play:  Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors        

When David Sobel’s children, Tara and Eli, were toddlers, he set out to integrate a wide range of nature experiences into their family life, play, and storytelling. Blending his passion as a parent with his professional expertise, he created adventures tailored to their developmental stages: cultivating empathy with animals in early childhood, exploring the woods in middle childhood, and  devising rites of passage in adolescence.  Sobel weaves together parenting experiences, stories he told his children and developmental theory to present a model of healthy parenting in concert with the natural world.

Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods identified the urgent problem of “nature deficit” in today’s children, sounding the alarm for parents, educators, and policymakers. Wild Play is a hopeful response.

Sobel, Wild Play Dummerston.jpg
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to Mar 16

Natural Wonder Summit, Keynote and Workshop on Nature-based Early Childhood Education

15 March  7:00-8:15 p.m.
Keynote:  Why 21st Century Children Need Nature: Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens

The original kindergarten — the children’s garden —conceived by German educator Friedrich Froebel in the 19th century, was a place where children learned through play, often in nature. That idea is fast eroding. Children aren’t playing in the garden anymore; instead they’re filling in bubbles on worksheets. The new movement of nature-based early childhood education can reverse that trend. There are thousands of forest kindergartens throughout Europe and new programs opening every month in North America. Let’s examine the promise of this healthy approach towards living and learning outdoors with young children. 

16 March  9:15-10:30 a.m.
Workshop:  Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators

When children have access to free play in natural areas, they do the same things, around the country and around the world. They make special places, go on adventures, develop fantasy games, go hunting and gathering, craft small worlds. These recurrent play patterns can be used as design principles to help structure compelling outdoor activities with children, and these engagements can lead to environmental values and behaviors in adulthood. We’ll recollect some of our own significant experiences from childhood. Then we’ll explore the nearby environment using some of these recurrent play motifs and design appropriate activities for young children.


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2:00 PM14:00

In Mud in Wyoming Saturday, April 28, 2018

In Mud in Wyoming Saturday, April 28, 2018

Co-Sponsored with the Teton Science School, Jackson, Wyoming
Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Deb Carter, Boise State University, Boise, ID
David Sobel, Senior Faculty, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH

Join faculty from the Pre-Kindergarten programs at the Teton Valley Community
School and Journeys School to learn more about their nature-based and Reggio
Emilia-inspired programs. Participants will spend part of the day at nearby
Rendezvous Park taking part in nature-based experiences and discussing
facilitation and documentation of those experiences with children.

For more information, contact Peg Smeltz, call 603-283-2301, or email Click here to register! 

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