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Inspired by Nature: Designing Play Places for the Littlest Learners

Monday, October 23, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Inspired by Nature: Designing Play Places for the Littlest Learners

Presented by ​​Dr. Sandra Duncan, International Consultant on Environments for Young Children
Moderated by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, Vice President for Professional Learning, Kaplan Early Learning Company

Sponsored by Kaplan Early Learning Company

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Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

What can jellyfish, a bunch of grapes, or dandelions possibly teach us about designing early childhood classrooms? As it turns out, quite a lot! This edWebinar explores how nature offers valuable and important lessons about transforming classroom spaces into places where infants and toddlers can thrive.

Discover what mushrooms can teach us about cozy hideaways. Learn what sea turtles can show us about wayfinding. Find out what lightning bugs can share about illumination. Squirrels and handwashing sinks? Yes, that too! Horses and learning centers? Of course! Gorgeous photos and intriguing connections will help you see your infant, toddler, or twos classroom in a whole new way. Learn how to:

  • Make your classroom twinkle like fireflies
  • Optimize storage space like honeybees
  • Create a cozy environment like the forest
  • See from different angles like alligators

There’s so much more to learn, so let the exploration begin! This recorded edWebinar is of interest to teachers of infants, toddlers, and twos, as well as school leaders.

About the Presenter

Dr. Sandra Duncan works to assure the miracle and magic of childhood through indoor and outdoor play spaces that are intentionally designed to connect young children to their early learning environments, communities, and neighborhoods. Dr. Duncan is an international consultant, author of seven books focused on the environmental design of early childhood places, designer of three furniture collections called Sense of Place, Sense of Place for Wee Ones, and Sense of Place-Elementary, as well as adjunct faculty at Nova Southeastern University. Sandra has designed and taught university courses on built learning environments (Association for Learning Environments & Walden University) and has collaborated with architects, interior designers, landscape architects, and educators to create extraordinary places and possibilities for children and students of all ages.

Laura Wilhelm

About the Moderator

As the Vice President for Professional Learning at Kaplan, Laura Wilhelm, Ed.D. draws on decades of experience teaching young children and early childhood professionals, starting with toddlers in the 1980s, followed by PreK-third grade in urban and suburban schools, and as a university lab school director. Since earning her doctorate in ECE curriculum and instruction in 1999, she has served as a program director, full professor, national validator for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and a site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Programs (CAEP). She enjoys planning professional development, speaking at conferences, leading study tours, visiting early education programs around the world, and returning home to her family. She is the author of The Neglected Child: How to Recognize, Respond, and Prevent (2013); Treasure Baskets: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers (2017); Enticing Environments for People Under Three (2021); and Living Loose Parts: Creatures of Curiosity (coming in 2024), all from Gryphon House.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Classroom Management for Early Learning community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Kaplan Early Learning CompanyFor more than 50 years, Kaplan Early Learning Company has been a champion for play. From our research-based curricula to enriching classroom environments and innovative technology solutions, Kaplan’s products and services inspire a lifelong love of learning in children and educators. We are architects of learning good and defenders of the imagination. We live for inseparable bonds and open minds. We encourage the eager and inspire the inspirers. We transform lives through play.



Monday, October 23, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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