Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors

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9781578051762: Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors

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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About the Author:

David T. Sobel, M. Ed., is senior faculty in the Education Department of Antioch New England University in Keene, New Hampshire. He consults and speaks widely on environmental education and child development and is the author of seven other books, including Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens: The Handbook for Outdoor Learning, Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators, Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities, and Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education. He has also written many articles about children and nature that have appeared in Orion, Encounter, Sierra, Sanctuary, Wondertime, Green Teacher, and other publications. He has served on the editorial boards of Encounter, Orion, and Community Works Journal, for which he writes a regular column. Sobel was identified as one of the “gurus and rock stars of environmental education” in a feature article in Teacher magazine and as one of the 2007 Daring Dozen educational leaders by Edutopia magazine. He lives in Harrisville, New Hampshire, and has two grown children.

Review:

“The power of nature in children’s lives is inextricably linked to the power of story, and David Sobel, one of the pioneering voices in the children and nature movement, is a born storyteller. Wild Play is an invaluable, eloquent, and heartfelt contribution to the movement, and most of all to children and those who love them.”
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

(Richard Louv)

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David Sobel
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