Early Childhood

Educator helps young boy learn about a gecko at the Wyland FOCUS event in Washington DC, June 2009.

Early childhood is a critical time to let children use their senses to connect with nature. Below are some programs that help an educator help a child connect with the world around them.

Early Childhood Education Professional Organizations

National Association for the Education of Young Children

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization.  Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 90,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.

Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC)

Children in today's world are being adversely affected by their diminishing connection with the natural world. To address this concern, the World Forum Foundation supported the development of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC) and organized the 2008 and the 2006 Working Forum on Nature Education for Young Children at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska.  Today over 1,400 architects, community planners, early childhood educators, engineers, environmental educators, environmental activists, health specialists, and landscape architects from six continents are members of NACC.

Partner Resources for Early Childhood Education 


Woodsy Owl's ABCs

Woodsy ABCs

"Look!  There's Woodsy Owl by the tree. Open your eyes, and you will see his alphabet from A to Z."

Woodsy's ABCs is a colorful, engaging book that brings nature alive for young children. Children ages 3-6 will especially enjoy following Woodsy through the alphabet as they learn both reading skills and nature facts. The full-color book includes activities to complement the playful prose.

Smokey Bear Story Book

Smokey Story Book

The Smokey Bear Story Book is a brand new addition to the Smokey's story. This colorful, engaging book shares the story of Smokey Bear with pre-readers. The text, in both English and Spanish, allows the teacher to read the story to a class.

Smokey Bear's Big Book is available for purchase from the Symbols Cache. A smaller companion booklet that children can take home is also available.


Woodsy Owl-Head Start Partnership

Woodsy Owl

Since 1970, Woodsy Owl has introduced generations of children to the magic of nature—and has encouraged them to "Give a Hoot. Don't Pollute" and to "Lend a H...

Woodsy Owl's Activity Guide


This guide offers teachers and after school group leaders 12 fun and engaging activities. The activities are designed to help children ages 5 to 8 become more aware of the natural environment and f...