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Preschool Beyond Walls
Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning

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Preschool Beyond Walls
Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning



Item number: 15940
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Children are spending less time being outside in nature, playing, imagining, and learning about their surroundings. Instead, they’re spending more time with tablets, televisions, and overly structured routines. Preschool Beyond Walls shows practical and strategic ways educators can create rich, explorative, and interdisciplinary learning through extensive outdoor experiences.

Learn how to develop and implement a nature-based curriculum to support children’s optimal learning, from start to finish. Whether you’re creating a new curriculum or transitioning from a traditional approach, you will learn how to: 

  • Create a program philosophy
  • Infuse nature into all aspects of your program
  • Prepare teachers for a nature-centered approach
  • Implement curriculum and pedagogy that emphasize inquiry-based learning through play and hands-on discovery
  • Maintain high-quality early childhood practices that support children’s development 
Rachel A. Larimore, PhD

Rachel worked for 15 years as director of education at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, Michigan. Not only does she write and speak extensively on connecting children to nature...

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“Rachel Larimore’s newest book, Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning is a beautiful and essential guide to successfully becoming a nature-based preschool. The photos and examples throughout the book bring the rich value of nature-based learning to life for the reader. Rachel thoughtfully includes philosophy and pedagogy as well as concerns that practitioners often struggle with around health and safety and curriculum. Through her Frequently Asked Questions and Reflections on Practice sections at the end of each chapter, Rachel supports the continued development of early childhood professionals and helps prepare them for success indoors, outdoors, and beyond.”

Sheila Williams Ridge
founding staff member of the Dodge Nature Preschool and co-author of Nature-Based Learning for Young Children: Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Budget

“Preschool Beyond Walls focuses on helping early childhood professionals, administrators and teachers alike, to change practices to more fully integrate nature into their programs. Larimore believes that any program can increase its integration of nature and reap the benefits. This book provides these teachers and administrators with real, tangible ideas for integrating nature into preschool programs that are already in operation. Preschool Beyond Walls helps teachers turn their traditional classrooms into adventurous and stimulating learning environments no child can ignore, and it provides steps for educators to integrate nature into their teaching to enhance the high-quality early childhood practices they are already implementing.”


“Rachel Larimore uses her extensive experience to help teachers and administrators make nature-based learning accessible. Whether building a new nature-based curriculum or including more nature-based activities in an existing curriculum, Preschool Beyond Walls guides programs in establishing a program philosophy and then implementing nature-based curriculum and pedagogy. Larimore addresses staffing considerations and the attitudes that can make a nature-based program succeed or fail. She insists that teachers must believe that nature is a powerful and meaningful teacher and is essential to a child’s development. Larimore addresses daily schedules and planning as well as eliciting cooperation with families. She offers extensive resources for planning activities, building a natural play area, and assembling nature-based supplies. Plentiful color photographs of nature-based programs in action invite serious consideration of the exciting opportunities a nature-based program can offer.”

Louise Parks
Editor, Texas Child Care Quarterly