When David Sobel’s children, Tara and Eli, were toddlers, he set out to integrate a wide range of nature experiences into their family life through 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. Sobel weaves together parenting experiences, stories he told his children and developmental theory to present a model of healthy parenting in concert with the natural world.
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 policymakers. Wild Play is a hopeful response for parents, grandparents, and good friends of children who want to encourage outdoor play and place-based connections.
About the Presenter:
David Sobel is Professor Emeritus in the Education Department at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH and he consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education with schools, environmental organizations and the National Park Service. He has authored eight books and more than 70 articles focused on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists and school administrators in the last 30 years. His book, Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors, is published by Green Writers Press. His most recent book is Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens, published by Redleaf Press. David was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the US in 2007 by Edutopia Magazine.
Cosponsored by the Dummerston Conservation Commission and BEEC