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Foreword How did you play as a child? Where did you play? What did you learn by playing? Probably (depending on how old you are) you got to play outdoors, investigating a complex and often unpredictable world of nature and negotiating relationships with friends. As many adults will remember, but many children today have never discovered, the richest learning environments are outdoors. In contrast, many children today spend all their time indoors, in activities programmed by adults to teach right answers to children. It’s February in Los Angeles, where I live. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and there’s snow on the mountains. The birds are busy and noisy, but where are the four-year-olds? They’re sitting at the tables indoors, getting wigglier every minute. Real learning happens outdoors too. It’s time to go out—and move. I learned to teach young children at the University of Wisconsin– Madison, where February is quite a different experience. But we took our little badgers outdoors every day, where they used all their large muscles and explored snow and ice and frosty breath, and we either stood and shivered or sensibly joined them and ran around too. Children, as I learned then and have been confirming ever since, are active learners— acquiring physical knowledge and social-emotional knowledge and co- constructing cognitive knowledge not only by sitting and listening, but especially by doing. And there’s more to do outdoors—more space, more sensory materials, more unpredictability, more open-ended tasks in which the outcomes haven’t been predetermined by adult planners. “If I xi