When David Sobel’s children were toddlers, he set out to integrate a wide range of nature experiences into their family life, play, and storytelling. Blending his passion as a parent with his professional expertise, he created adventures tailored to their developmental stages: cultivating empathy with animals in early childhood, exploring the woods in middle childhood, and devising rites of passage in adolescence. This book is Sobel’s vivid and moving memoir of their journey and an inspiring guide for other parents who seek to help their children bond with the natural world. As we share this family's experiences, we observe how wild play in nature hones a sense of wonder, provides healthy challenges, and nurtures Earth stewardship—and we share Sobel’s joy as his children, Eli and Tara, grow into earthbound, grounded young adults.
Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods identified the urgent problem of nature deficit” in today’s children, sounding the alarm for parents, educators, and policy makers. Wild Play is a hopeful response, offering families myriad ways to blaze their own trails; it should become another classic in this field.
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David T. Sobel, M. Ed., is a Senior Faculty in the Education Department and Director of the Center for Place-based Education at Antioch University New England. Prior to 1997, he served as the Chairperson of the department for a dozen years. He was one of the founders of The Harrisville Children's Center and has served on the boards of public and private schools. He was m member of the editorial board of the journal Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice and has served as a correspondent for Orion Magazine.
His articles examine the relationship between child development, authentic curriculum and environmental education. He was the winner of a 1991 Education Press Award. In 2007, he was identified as one of the Daring Dozen educators in the United States by Edutopia magazine. His book Nature Preschools and forest Kindergartens will be published by Redleaf Press in autumn, 2015.
David's exploration and documentation of the natural interests of children are the foundation for much of his work. He has served as a consultant with school districts, foundations, environmental organizations and the National Park Service to assist educators with curriculum development, program planning and evaluation from a learner-centered perspective.Review:
“Aninvaluable,eloquent,andheartfeltcontribution tothechildrenandnaturemovement,andmostofall tothechildrenandthose wholovethem.” ―Richard Louv, author ofLast Child in the Woods(Richard Louv)
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