Young children with special needs often face physical, emotional, or social barriers to deep engagement with the natural world. These challenges need not prevent them from enjoying the many benefits nature has to offer.
Nature is a necessity. Research tells us that we are happier, healthier, more socially engaged, and more creative when it is part of our daily lives. These benefits apply to people of all ages and abilities.
In this inspiring book, Dr. Ruth Wilson explores the great potential of connecting young children with special needs to the natural world. Drawing on her knowledge of research and her decades of work with children in nature, she weaves together advice, real-life examples, and testimonies from educators and families on the healing, nurturing power of nature in the lives of young children with diverse abilities.
In addition to exploring the role of nature in our lives, chapters include information on:
- Nature as a teacher and play partner
- Nature for holistic development
- Nature as a healer
- The importance of risk-taking
- Horticultural therapies
- Animal-assisted therapies
- Nurturing connections between children and animals, plants, and habitats
Naturally Inclusive is an essential guide for creating inclusive nature-based play spaces and programs that connect every child to nature. It reminds us that nature is both an exemplar of diversity and a catalyst for inclusion.
Paperback, 192 pages