[Nicole] Nature is fascinating. It inspires wonder. It grounds us. And it’s so much fun to discover together! Hi, I’m Nicole.
[Jen] And I’m Jen. We invite you to take our online course on exploring nature with kids.
[Nicole] I grew up in an urban area, but there was still nature around if you knew where to look. Watching ants crawl through patches of grass was an adventure. And on summer nights, I waited for the flashing lights of fireflies to light up the sky.
[Jennifer] I know as a parent, these are the kinds of opportunities we want to give our kids: to slow down, take time away from screens, to get some fresh air, and to really get to know what’s going on outside our front doors. But sometimes it’s hard to know how to get started.
[Nicole] In this course we’ll give you all sorts of fun ideas that you can try out right away, with your child, grandchild or other important kid in your life.
[Jen] As educators dedicated to helping kids enjoy the outdoors, we’ll share tips on how to go on kid-friendly nature walks, find birds and other wildlife in your neighborhood, and provide boredom-proof ways to observe, explore, and connect with nature. And in the process you’ll help your kid naturally build science skills and wellbeing practices that will support them throughout their lives.
[Nicole] Perhaps best of all, you’ll create new memories and connections that will last a lifetime.
[Jen] We hope you’ll join us for this course.
[Nicole] We can’t wait to share it with you.End of transcript
Fun Everyday Activities for You
Environmental educators Jennifer Fee and Nicole Jackson have teamed up to help you give your kids the gift of being in touch with nature. With the inspiration, activities, and encouragement in this course, you’ll be able to nurture kids who are confident outdoors, curious about nature, and equipped with a source of well-being that lasts a lifetime.
- Field-tested nature activities for 6-10 year olds
- Tips for finding birds and other wildlife in any neighborhood
- Recommended books and apps to build naturalist skills
- Advice for transforming reluctance into enthusiasm
- Printable activity guide for quick and easy reference
Let’s Go Outside! How to Connect Kids with Birds and Nature
- Lessons inside: 6
- Topics inside: 27
- Completion time (estimated): 4 hours
- Instructional videos: 18
- Total instructional video time: 44 minutes
- Level: Beginner
- Categories: Nature Appreciation
- CEU credits: 0.4 (optional additional purchase)
- Discussion groups to keep you learning
- Self-paced, no expiration date, 100% online
- 60-day refund guarantee
Why We Made This Course
"I know so many people eager to get their kids outside and curious about nature. Just about all of them ask me for fun everyday activities that fit into their busy lives and create moments of bonding and connection. That’s why Nicole and I packed this course full of ideas you can pick up and run with, right in your neighborhood, and without extra equipment. We’re here to help you create outdoor memories together."
This self-paced course includes nature activities, instructional videos, recommended books and apps, a printable activity guide, and discussion forums to help you connect with other mentors. With a whole host of ideas from seasoned environmental educators on how to keep kids curious and grow their interest in nature, you’ll be able to quickly build your confidence in getting outside with your kid.
Who This Course is For
DOES MY KID TAKE THIS COURSE WITH ME?
No, this course is for adults. Kids don’t sign in or work through the course themselves. Instead, it’s a toolkit for adults for inspiring and empowering the kids in their lives.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE FOR THIS COURSE?
Adults partnered with a 6-10 year old will get the most out of this course.
DO I NEED TO BE IN THE SAME PLACE AS THE KID I WANT TO CONNECT WITH?
You can take this course with a kid in mind, whether or not you live near each other.
This course has ideas for how to build connections in nature together—whether you live in the same household, or across the country from one another.
DO I NEED ACCESS TO “PRISTINE” NATURE TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS COURSE?
This course can connect you and your kid with nature—even in a city. This course has ideas for discovering nature near you, no matter where you live.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I NEED TO INVEST?
As much or as little time as you choose. This course is designed for busy parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators. It’s self-paced and access does not expire, so you can dip into it whenever you have some time and come back to it whenever you like. It’s yours to explore, enjoy, and tailor to your needs.
WHAT IF I AM NOT A BIRDER?
It’s designed for all kinds of nature enthusiasts. We do offer tips on how to find birds and how to help kids use binoculars, but that’s a small part of this course. It’s far more about connecting with nearby nature and whatever you encounter during your outdoor experiences.
Take a Free Peek Inside the Course
Preview sample content including videos, interactives, and outdoor activities.Preview Now
Whether you’re looking to make a connection with a child in your life, or just spend more time together in nature, this lesson will help you reflect, motivate, and build enthusiasm.
With just a little bit of planning ahead, you’ll set you and your kid up for a more fun and rewarding time outdoors.
So much joy in the natural world comes from wondering about it! This lesson is packed with tips on how to spark that curiosity in young naturalists.
Close and frequent observation of the natural world is one of the best parts about being outside. No matter where you are, this lesson will help you guide your kid towards deeper observation.
As kids learn about the natural world, they may be more inspired to care for it. From citizen science projects to hands-on habitat improvement, this lesson has something for every kid who loves nature.
Continue to reflect on your goals and motivations for sharing nature with kids, and enjoy even more activities to keep your time together outdoors interesting and fun.
Meet the Course Instructors
Jennifer Fee is the Manager of K-12 programs at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where she and her team have developed a network of more than 30,000 educators from all over the country and internationally. Her expertise is in helping educators integrate citizen science into teaching practices and connecting youth with nature. She has taught more than a hundred professional development workshops and is the co-author of Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life from the NSTA press. She holds a B.S. (Biology) from Truman State University and M.S. (Behavior, Ecology,… Read full bio
Nicole Jackson (she/her) is an environmental educator, birder, nature enthusiast, and community leader. In 2011, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University. Her studies focused on Environmental Education and Interpretation, which she used to focus on serving marginalized communities to help them better connect to nature. Some of her professional development endeavors include leadership trainings and workshops with Outdoor Afro, North American Association of Environmental Education, Aldo Leopold Foundation, and Children & Nature… Read full bio
Hear What Students Have to Say
I love all of these new ideas and plan to use them with my children and in my profession. I would love to incorporate these ideas more often throughout the year."Laura
I plan to use a lot of the links used in this class in my Nature Art Journal sessions with my middle school students this year when I return to school. I thought the videos for working with children were helpful and gave me some new ideas for approaches when we are outside. I am going to recommend this class to others I teach with. Thanks."Dorothy D.
I thought these tips were terrific and I plan to start trying them out."Kathy
I have reached out to my son's first grade teacher and they are planning a field trip that I will be implementing these topics as well as the Bird Sleuth K-12 Bird ID cards, Bird Sleuth Guidebooks, as well as a bunch of other exploration tools to help them enjoy and become involved in their environment."Emily
I really like the idea of the Beginner Mind. When I first considered taking this course, my sense was that I had better have a solid knowledge base in order to impart lots of wonderful facts to the kids. However, I now understand the value of learning together. I think that will ultimately be much more fun and rewarding."Michael
This Course is Entirely Online
There’s nothing to be shipped, and no additional material is necessary. Bird Academy courses are online, self-paced, and have no deadline to complete the course. You can return to them for reference or practice as often as you want. All course material, practice tools, instructional videos, and quizzes are available through your web browser. Learn anytime, anywhere*. Gain the skills and understanding you’re looking for.
*Requires an internet connection and a modern web browser.
Course Instructors: Jennifer Fee and Nicole Jackson
Course Developers: Marla Coppolino and Laura Helft
Content Advisors: Kelly Schaeffer and Jeffrey Train
Video Development and Field Producer: Shayna Muller
Video Producer and Editor: Jess Ahearn
Videography: Karen Rodriguez
Production Assistant: Marla Coppolino
Photography: Darcy Rose
Web Designer: Jeff Szuc
Copy Editor: Jill Leichter
Web Programmer: Noah Warnke
Marketing and Promotion: Bobby Stickel and Katherine Welch
Executive Producers: Laura Helft and Mya Thompson
Special Thanks: Kevin McGowan, Mark Chao, Marta del Campo, Yao “Chacha” Foli, Rachael Mady, Carol Rasowsky, John Robinson, Laurie Rubin, Anusha Shankar, Kayla Shelley, Jeffrey Train, Suan Yong, Chelsea Benson, Becca Rodomsky-Bish, Leo Sack, and Ben Thomas; the Chaopricha family; Bella Fee; the Nuñez family, the Olney family, the Peery family, the Rivera-Watts family, the Croyle-Sheire family, focus group participants, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust.