Jan White Natural Play

Natural Play, Natural Growth, in the Early Years

Blogs I follow

Let The children Play – progressive preschool near Sydney, Australia with an emphasis on play outdoors – wonderful, lively and image-led, Jenny Kable also likes to find other good sites and shares lots of practice.

Teacher Tom – progressive preschool in Seattle, Washington, USA – fantastic for provoking and deepening thinking and always worth reading.

Images of Learning Project – beautiful blog from Victoria, Canada, always thought provoking and deep.

Little Eyes on Nature – a group of preschools in New Zealand with a strong philosophy and practice around educating for sustainable living (they describe themselves as enviro Montessori) with a clear Maori influence – again, deep and thoughtful.

I’m a Teacher, Get Me OUTSIDE Here! – Juliet Robertson in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is fantastic at finding and sharing information – a really useful and energising blog.

The Grass Stain Guru  – this blog’s strapline is ‘Childhood was meant to be messy’.  Outdoors and nature are the main themes.

Playscapes – superb playground design blog from Paige Johnson in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA that has become a hub for sharing innovative practice and thinking  from all over the world- lots for thinking about outdoor play environments and thinking outside the box.

The Learning Landscape – from Michelle Mathis, a practicing landscape architect in Portland, Oregon, USA with an interest in nature, education and design – intersecting in educational outdoor environments.

Rethinking Childhood – from Tim Gill is a great source of provocation, thinking and information/links about play, especially in unstructured natural environments.

Tinkering School – truely wonderful and deeply important initiative in the US by Gever Tully.  Watch his TED talks to get into the idea and then see Teacher Tom and Let the Children Play blogs for doing it in the early years.

Moving Smart – the strapline is “A moving child is a learning child” – what else do I need to say? Lots of very good stuff here, especially on birth to three.

Exuberant Animal – Frank Forencich (from Seattle) writes superb articles in his newsletter, coming from a wonderfully holistic approach to ‘the power of health, play and joyfull movement’.  I really like his work.

Suzanne Zeedyk – ‘The Science of Human Connection’ – flows from Suzanne’s work on ‘The Connected Baby’, a recently released DVD showing the minute detail of how very young babies are highly tuned to interaction and communication.  The film is available from her website  at £13.50 – showing several ‘dances’ – very sophisticated and important stuff.

Love Outdoor Play – part of Play England’s campaign for children’s right to play freely and together in the outdoors.

Outdoor Nation – part of The National Trust’s campaign for societal change towards children being connected with nature (Natural Childhood), with a focus on play in natural environments, now part of The Wild Network.

The Old School Gardener – Nigel Boldero blogs very actively, including reblogging from a wide range of gardening blog sites.  I find his simple ‘PicPosts’ really enjoyable and often useful.

Learning for Life – Kierna Corr’s blog about life in a very outdoor oriented school nursery in Northern Ireland, in which every Friday is a totally outdoor ‘Scandinavian Day’.

PlayGroundology – from a hands-on playground tester in Halifax, Nova Scotia who really likes to play.

Playground Guru – thoughtful posts about play and playgrounds from a reflective playworker, Jay Beckwith.

Policy for Play – Adrian Voce, previously director of Play England, posts about the political and policy side of play.

9 thoughts on “Blogs I follow

  1. Hi Jan,

    Just came across your blog from a link in the love outdoor play blog.

    We have recently set up an entirely outdoors toddler group in the Forest of Dean. We are parent run, and are learning all the time and having great fun doing so! It has been a very steep learning curve for us all as we follow our passion to get more local kids outdoors with their families.

    We are getting about 1-2 enquiries a week from mums all over the uk asking how we set up the group, so let’s hope this kind of family orientated outdoor play is on the up!

    Pop on over and take a look? http://www.foresttots.co.uk and http://foresttots.blogspot.com

    Rachel xxx

    • Hi Rachel, I’ve just spent a lovely half hour looking around your website and blog – what fabulous stuff – and I’ve signed up to follow you! What you are doing is really important and inspiring, and I love how you’re sharing it all so willingly. I’d very much like to visit you one Friday when I’m down your way (I work all over the country, so it’s a possibility) and perhaps send some of the Masters students too next year? Have you watched the DVDs I helped Siren films make on babies, toddlers and two yearolds outdoors – I think you’d enjoy/appreciate them! It would be great to network the people doing outdoor work with before threes – it’s so very important. BIG congratulations and may you be the vangard of something really wonderful!

  2. Thanks Jan, and you (or your students) would be very welcome to come and visit to see what we get up to! Just drop us an e-mail so we know to expact you!

    Sounds like I need to search out your videos…..

  3. Hi Jan, I have just visited your site from my Natural Playground site. I am currently running nature clubs and holiday programmes with Preston Street Primary School in Edinburgh. We are lucky enough to be able to go out and explore the nearby park and the trees and I run a small scale version of forest schools for children between the ages of 5 and 9. If you were ever in the Edinburgh area it would be great to meet with you and discuss ideas or if it was at all possible may be I could come and see some of the work that you do? My email is

    All the best,


    • Great to hear back from you Emily, and yes, I’d love to visit you if/when I’m in the Edinburgh area. Let’s keep in touch – my email is on my website. Isn’t it marvellous how blogging is linking us all up! Jan

  4. Hi Jan, really good to see you on Friday. How do I follow your blog? (I can’t see a “follow” button anywhere

    • Hi Cath – fabulous day on Friday; fabulous project (Early Learning in Nature). I believe you just put your email address in a box at the side somewhere! Actually, just looked and on my Mac there is a follow button on the screen, bottom right hand side.

  5. Pingback: Wordpress Blogs I Follow – Web Hosting

  6. Hi Jan, Just had a good read around your site and found some fantastic information, Im a mother of 6 kids and Im regularly looking for ideas to get the kids outdoors! I write a blog with hints and tips on how to get children into the outdoors, feel free to pop over and take a look, its a new blog so still developing material, http://www.bushcraftbabies.wordpress.com

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