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Gryphon House Releases Preschool Beyond Walls

Lewisville, N.C. – Gryphon House, Inc. announces Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning, a resource book guiding educators to integrate nature into their preschool program and environment to better support learning and development.

“As children spend more time with screens and less time playing, imagining and learning in nature, their whole-child development suffers,” said author Rachel Larimore. “Children need a better approach to learning that builds on their curiosity, energy, desire to be outside and endless appetite for adventure and exploration.”

The Common Sense Census 2017 report says that children ages 0–8 spend nearly two-and-a-half hours on screens each day. Meanwhile, the National Wildlife Federation has found that being in nature stimulates creativity, improves cognitive function, decreases depression and more.

Preschool Beyond Walls brings a completely new approach to early learning. Ideal for early childhood directors, teachers, college courses and parents or caregivers of children ages 3–6, this book guides educators to create rich, explorative and interdisciplinary learning through extensive outdoor experiences, inquiry-based learning, play and hands-on discovery.

Whether an educator is creating a new curriculum or making small changes to an existing one, Preschool Beyond Walls bridges the gap between a traditional and a nature-based classroom. Using theory and research, educators will learn how to create a program philosophy and to design, build and implement a nature-based curriculum and pedagogy. The resource book also includes specific examples to engage parents in the programmatic shift toward a nature-based model.


About the Author

Rachel A. Larimore worked for 15 years as director of education at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, Michigan where she founded and directed the nature center's Nature Preschool. She writes and speaks extensively on connecting children to nature through high-quality, nature-based early childhood education. Larimore is also pursuing a PhD in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education at Michigan State University.

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