Program Overview

There are four MAJOR differences between the Children Learning with Nature Institute from just about every conference, workshop or training you have every attended.

It’s Intimate!

Registration is limited to just 160 paid attendees. We know from experience that learning goes deeper in a more intimate environment, one where you can develop relationships with our amazing team of instructors… and, just as importantly, with fellow practitioners in early childhood, special education, K-12, environmental organizations and health fields.

It’s Outdoors!

More than 50% of this program will be spent out in nature. This Institute is focused on connecting children (and the adults around them) to nature. So shouldn’t much of the actual learning during the Institute be outdoors as well? This Institute is structured to model this, with our hallmark Mornings in Nature experience with each morning of the institute spent outdoors in a series of experiential fast-paced, fun, and stimulating workshops. Sessions will include: Nature Art, Cooking with Children, Storytelling, Mud, Fairies, Fire Building, Observation, Ocean Art, Puddles, Inclusive Environments and Mindfulness and Mentoring.

It’s Useful!

Experiential, nature-based learning skills for you to begin applying immediately! Many of the sessions bring in the research, theory, and applications behind the teaching, but most important is our passion and focus on giving you tools that you can take back and apply immediately in your work with children. We give you the resources that can work in any environment whether in a forest, within a suburban center, or in a dense urban setting so that you can create rich, stimulating environments to benefit the children, and yourself!

Special Education Focus!

This year the CLN Institute is excited for the first time to have a special set of workshops and presenters geared to special education and inclusion. Anne Sivanathan, the Founder of the Inclusive Outdoor Classroom, and Kirsten Haugen who has been a Special Education Teacher and Nature Advocate for many years will join the other workshop leaders at the institute to create a powerful and meaningful set of workshops designed for Special Education and Inclusive Teaching.

About The Childplay Institute

The mission of The Childplay Institute is to improve the education and lives of children around the world working with children and training teachers, parents and others to help children learn and grow.

Contact Us

(707) 373-1400


985 Walnut Avenue
Vallejo, California 94592

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