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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.


Introduction and guidance

This free badged course, Young children, the outdoors and nature, lasts 24 hours and is comprised of eight sessions. You can work through the course at your own pace. The eight sessions are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:

  1. Taken for granted practices with young children and the outdoors
  2. The missing babies
  3. Friedrich Froebel: a mover and shaker of his day
  4. Challenges, risks and opportunities
  5. Developing outdoor provision for babies and young children
  6. Being outdoors or being in nature
  7. Growing Up Green
  8. Moving forwards and answering the big questions

Each session should take you around 3 hours. There are a number of activities throughout the course where you are asked to note down your response. A text box is provided for you to do this, however if you would prefer to record your answers in another way that is fine.

At the end of each session there is also a quiz to help you check your understanding. And, if you want to receive a formal statement of participation, at the end of Sessions 4 and 8 there is a quiz which you need to pass.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how to develop outdoor opportunities for babies and toddlers
  • consider how to develop outdoor opportunities in practice
  • describe and discuss some of the key aspects of Friedrich Froebel’s principles and how they inform ideas about outdoor play
  • identify the barriers to babies and toddlers engaging with the outdoors and nature and consider how to overcome these barriers.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each session, you will find a link to the next session. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

The development of this course has been supported by The Froebel Trust who have funded Dr Joanne Josephidou and Dr Nicola Kemp to carry out their research into babies’ and toddlers’ engagement with the outdoors.