Celebrating the importance of connections and relationships between children and nature.

The child should experience nature ‘in all its aspects –
form, energy, substance, sound and colour.

Froebel

2022 marks ten years of our work as a grant making charity championing a Froebelian approach to early childhood education.

We're celebrating with a year of special events focused on young children's relationships and connections with nature. We're calling it a year of exploration!

Experience and understanding of nature were central to Froebel’s ideas.

Froebel emphasised that children should experience all aspects of nature, not just plants and animals. One of the best ways children can experience nature, he argued, is through their play outdoors in the garden and in the wider natural environment.

Through real life experiences, children learn about the interrelationship of all living things. This helps them to think about the bigger questions of the environment, sustainability and climate change.

Free resources for educators

"We have a crisis in our relationship with nature. Children are increasingly disconnected from the natural world and their access to green and wild spaces is rapidly declining. We are discovering the devastating impact of human activity on our world.

In seeking to renew our relationship with nature, the ideas of Friedrich Froebel, a 19th century German educator and creator of the kindergarten, are timely. He saw the kindergarten as a garden for children, a place where children can develop at their own pace, nurtured by knowledgeable and supportive adults."

Helen Tovey in An introduction to Froebel, children and nature

Engaging with Nature by Debby Hunter and Helen d’Ascoli

COMING SOON: A brand new addition to our popular Froebel Trust pamphlet series.
Due to be published and available as a free download in Summer 2022.
A Froebel Trust special project with Early Education

The Access to Nature Project

Between October 2021 and January 2022 we asked children, their parents, carers and early years educators to tell us about their access to nature and being outside together. The findings of this project tell us about how young children value nature, play and being active outside.

However, the research also reveals the growing inequalities experienced by some families with young children and the challenges they face in accessing natural spaces.

Learn more
FT Nature Campaign Logo RGB

Latest research

We fund research into the learning and development of babies and young children. Research which looks at play, the natural world, respectful pedagogy, responsive and nurturing relationships, high quality education and training.

Recent Froebel Trust funded research projects have focused on children's connections and access to nature:

Watch...

Dr Jo Josephidou & Dr Nicola Kemp share findings from their research exploring outdoor provision for children from birth to two attending baby rooms in nursery settings.

Explore our online research library

Discover lots more nature related research projects

Browse our research
Watch this Froebel Trust webinar recorded in March 2021

Want to know more about Froebel, nature and outdoor play?

Further reading suggestions

Nature books for children

Published by Orchard Books, 2021

Ten of our favourite books for young children, all about connecting with nature:

What are your favourite nature related titles for young children? Email us at office@froebeltrust.org.uk with your suggestions and recommendations.

What are Froebelian principles?

A free poster to download and display in your school or setting.

Free to download

Froebel's principles today

Friedrich Froebel was the inventor of kindergarten and a pioneer of early childhood education and care.

FInd out more