Guest Blog Post by Amy Nelson, Program Director at Outdoor Education Adventures

In the bustling world we live in, where technology often takes center stage, it’s crucial to remember the simple joys of childhood and the immense benefits that nature can offer to our little ones. We here at Outdoor Education Adventures (OEA) know firsthand the benefits of nature and have  specially designed a program called Nature Play for children 4 years old and younger and their caregivers. This immersive experience is not just about outdoor play; it’s about fostering a deeper connection with nature, promoting child-led exploration, and building a supportive community for the families that attend.

The benefits of outdoor play for young children are myriad, from improved physical health to enhanced cognitive abilities. Exposure to nature has a profound impact on a child’s overall well-being, promoting sensory development, strengthening the immune system, and instilling a love for the outdoors from a young age.

In an era dominated by screens and technology, building a nature connection is more crucial than ever. Nature Play serves as a gateway for families to immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors, fostering a lifelong appreciation for the environment. Our program is designed to nurture a sense of wonder, to build observational skills and to  encourage families to make nature a constant companion in their lives.

At the heart of our Nature Play program is the belief in the power of child-led outdoor play. Allowing children to take the lead in their play helps enhance confidence, creativity, problem-solving skills, and decision-making abilities. The Maple Grove Nature School provides the perfect backdrop, offering a child-friendly environment for exploration. 

Join the Nature Play Community! We invite you and your little ones to join us in this enriching journey of exploration, learning, and community building. Nature Play is more than just a class; it’s a stepping stone towards a brighter future, where our children grow up with a profound connection to the natural world.

Together, let’s embrace the joy of child-led outdoor play and build lasting connections with nature. Join us at our Nature Play class Maple Grove on Fridays from 12pm-2pm. Winter Session1 begins January 19th. Visit our website to enroll in Nature Play today and watch your little ones blossom in the embrace of nature. Nature Play at Maple Grove 


Amy grew up playing and exploring the woods of northeast Texas. Those long days spent building forts, fishing, and climbing trees fostered a deep love of the natural world. A trained ecologist, Amy earned a B.S. in Agroecology and Environmental Quality from the University Hawaii at Hilo. Much of her life has been spent working in and exploring the outdoors. She was the founder, director, and facilitator of the Yamhill County Free Forest School. Amy believes all children are inherently curious, innately connected to the natural world, and benefit from unstructured outdoor play.