Nature-Based Education Resources

Getting Started with Outdoor Learning 

In partnership with the Nature-Based Education Consortium (NBEC), CREA produced a series of three short videos to make outdoor teaching more accessible to teachers. Part 1: Stepping out the Door, addresses basic supplies, logistics, and routines needed when taking students outdoors. Part 2: Simple Activities, offers simple activities that can be repeated throughout the year. Pt. 3: Tips and Tricks highlights a few teaching approaches unique to outdoor teaching, and tips for dealing with common issues encountered when outside.

CREA’s Favorite Tips and Tricks for Teaching Outdoors

CREA educators share their knowledge about how to make outdoor learning successful and engaging. Suggested solutions to common issues and tips to get you started.

Outdoor Learning Network

An informal association of elementary teachers from school districts in our region (mostly SAD75 and Brunswick but others welcome) that meets periodically to share experiences, ideas, and successes with outdoor learning. Contact or for more information.

Inside – Outside website

Created by New England educators in response to growing interest nature-based education. If you only look at one website about outdoor learning, choose this one! Their Getting Started page has a thorough list of outdoor teaching supplies, short videos to inspire your teaching, and a sample outdoor schedule of activities. For motivation on why to add outdoor learning to your toolbox, read their position statement on why outdoor access for every child is critical.

Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA)

MEEA publishes guidance on reopening schools during the pandemic, which includes utilizing outdoor and environmental education. 

Nature Based Education Consortium (NBEC)

NBEC is a Maine-based collaboration of groups collaborating to provide guidance and resources designed facilitate outdoor learning. 

Boston Schoolyard Initiative

Offers ideas on how to teach writing and science outside, other teaching resources, and how to maintain your outdoor teaching space.

Children & Nature Network (CNN)

CNN is the hub for current research on the benefits to children of spending time in nature.

Natural Start Alliance

Good resource for outdoor activities targeting preschoolers.