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International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, v4 n1 p70-95 2016

Conducted at two separate natural outdoor classrooms with preschool-aged children from three to five years old, this qualitative research study investigated how outdoor environments supported children's creativity and imagination. Although many studies have explored the development of creative arts in the young children, few have focused on creativity with regard to problem solving, ingenuity, and construction, as did this study. Four factors in natural outdoor classrooms that enhance children's creativity and imagination were revealed: (a) predictable spaces, (b) ample and consistent time, (c) open-ended materials, and (d) caring, observant adults who support creative play and learning.

Descriptors: Creativity, Preschool Children, Preschool Teachers, Outdoor Education, Physical Environment, Young Children, Qualitative Research, Play, Environmental Education, Comparative Analysis, Child Care Centers, Teaching Methods, Discovery Learning, Experiential Learning, Recreational Activities, Case Studies

North American Association for Environmnental Education. 2000 P Street NW Suite 540, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-419-0412; Web site:

Autor: Kiewra, Christine; Veselack, Ellen


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