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for children at the upper end of the early childhood years than for a very young child. Broadcast your success. Make sure your colleagues, administrators, and the parents of the children in- volved know what you are doing and why. Share pic- tures or other documentation of the children making discoveries and exploring the environment. Point out the learning and groundwork for stewardship that you’re fostering through this work. Interview children about what they are feeling, what they are learning, and what they like best about certain ac- tivities. Share this information through newsletters, bulletin boards, or presentations at conferences or workshops. Sharing your success is the best way to gain and maintain a supportive community of par- ents and coworkers. Get outside as much and as often as you can. Whenever possible, take these activities outside. Some of the activities lend themselves especially well to outdoor play and fun. Even for the activities that don’t require being outside, consider taking the nec- essary materials and supplies out onto the sidewalk or to a nearby park or grassy area. There is no substi- tute for fresh air, sunshine, and exposure to the ele- ments when learning about the natural world. Dress for the weather, and be sure to apply a nontoxic sun- screen and mosquito repellent if needed, to ensure that all children can enjoy the experience. Getting Outside Most educators, even those already strongly commit- ted to the environment, may find themselves daunted at times by the challenge of expanding the curricu- lum or changing daily routines to incorporate more time outdoors. You already have very busy days and extremely full plates. Over the years, I’ve had many teachers and administrators share with me some of the challenges and barriers they face when it comes to getting children outside. Following is a list of some of the most common challenges and some suggestions for overcoming them. 10  Chapter 1 “I can’t add another thing to my day!” This very real concern might be alleviated when you consider simply moving the activities you already do inside to a comfortable place outdoors. If you have a science station in your classroom already, why not move it outside? The simple act of reading a story can be made more special when done on a blanket under the shade of a tree. Or, take the easel and paints outside and enjoy some outdoor art-making! Make a commit- ment to getting your class outside at least once per day, and start with just 15 minutes if that feels more within your reach. If you already go outdoors once a day, challenge yourself to go outside one more time. Bring one of your regular daily activities outside, or designate a special nature time outdoors, away from the playground. For more about taking the indoors outside, read Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms: Design- ing and Implementing Child-Centered Learning Environ- ments by Eric Nelson. “The children don’t have appropriate outerwear.” Consider starting a scholarship fund to buy extra gear for children. Ask families to donate usable rain or winter gear their children have outgrown. Hit the clearance racks after the winter season to find great deals on gear. Start a large “lending closet” of win- ter and rain gear so that there will always be enough clothing to ensure all children are comfortable out- side. (While you’re at it, you may decide to bring in a few extra things for staff too!) Chapter 9 has some creative tips for building a supply of outerwear for children that won’t cost you a fortune. “This is a logistical nightmare!” Yes, it takes a while and often feels like herding cats when it comes to get- ting a bunch of three-year-olds ready to go out and play in the snow. Just remember to plan well. Make getting dressed a part of the process. Sing songs, have races, or play games as everyone puts on their outer- wear. It takes time, but it’s worth it. As you develop the habit of regular outdoor time, you’ll find that the labor-intensive process of helping everyone with their coats and boots becomes less of a challenge. And yes, when they’ve had time playing in the mud, they will track it in—which will be messy. First, remind