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Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children

Growing Up WILD Brochure (pdf, 255kb)

Growing Up Wild LogoGrowing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature, and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Using a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world, as well as lifelong social and academic skills.

The Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children activity guide is written especially for early childhood educators of children aged 3-7. It features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based activities in a full-color 11"x17" activity guide. The guide includes crafts, art projects, music, conservation activities, reading and math connections, and involves social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive domains to help foster learning and development in all areas.

The guide is correlated with New Jersey State Department of Education's 2009 Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards. To view how the learner outcomes in Growing Up WILD align with the progress indicators, visit:

The guide is also correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children standards and the Head Start Domains, and supports developmentally appropriate practices allowing children to learn at levels that are individually, socially, and culturally appropriate.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife offers professional development workshops for early childhood educators in using Growing Up WILD. The workshops foster confidence in early childhood educators to lead outdoor explorations by providing ready-made activities, easily digestible background information, and field investigation opportunities that correlate with the activities.

Teachers at workshop Each workshop runs a minimum of 4-hours, but 6-hour professional development sessions are recommended for non-science educators.

For information about attending or hosting a Growing Up WILD workshop at your center, contact:

Liz Jackson
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
605 Pequest Rd.
Oxford, NJ 07863
908-637-4125 ext. 122
Interested in becoming a workshop leader for Growing Up WILD?
By becoming a workshop facilitator you will receive training in the material, receive a $200 stipend for leading a 5-hour workshop, and receive awards based on total number of workshops led at the Alliance for NJ Environmental Education annual awards banquet.

Workshop Schedule

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 6, 2011