New guidebook helps early childhood educators discover how to take advantage of science, technology, engineering, and math learning in an outdoor environment while meeting required early learning standards.
Dig In!, an educators’ guidebook to providing STEM opportunities outdoors, offers expert insights and ideas for exploring, experimenting, and observing nature with young children. Written by Lea Ann Christenson, PhD, associate professor of early childhood education at Towson University, and Jenny James, MA, Dig In! shows ways to enhance STEM-based skills though outdoor learning.
Along with enhancing STEM-based skills, outdoor learning also promotes development in key areas such as social-emotional learning, communication, and motor skills.
“Outdoor experiences give more freedom for children of different abilities to show what they know and enthusiastically add to their knowledge base,” explain the authors. “The major aspects of social-emotional learning—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making—can be authentically developed in an outdoor setting infused with STEM.”
Packed full of STEM-centered activities and curriculum ideas, Dig In! provides interactive ways to engage students in a world of investigations.
“Young children are natural explorers at the peak of curiosity,” explain the authors, who believe the experiences provided by an educator can make all the difference in a child’s education. “Planning experiences that allow children to further explore a topic is exciting, and frankly, more authentic.”
Dig In! Outdoor STEM Learning with Young Children (ISBN 978-0-87659-925-9, PB; 978-0-87659-926-6, ebook; 128 pp.; $32.95) by Lea Ann Christenson and Jenny James will be available December 1, 2022, and is available for preorder now. Digital review copies may be requested through Edelweiss.