Natural Thinkers: connecting children to nature

Natural Thinkers is a programme that supports teachers and practitioners in connecting children with nature, through practical activities that are inspiring and motivating.

Through embedding the principles and aims of the programme childrens' achievement from Early Years to Year 6 has risen and health and wellbeing increased. Central to the Natural Thinkers programme are 10 commmitments. These give a structure for teachers and practitioners to follow, enabling areas of the curriculum to be accessed. 

Through a focus on these points we enable teachers and practitioners to become confident in using the natural environment...

  • Demonstrating how to teach all areas of the curriculum outdoors and improve learning outcomes for all.
  • Exploring the perceived obstacles to providing high quality learning outdoors and provide solutions.
  • Examining the need for challenge and risk in children’s play and how it can be assessed. 
  • Creating procedures taking into account the benefits of risk so that a more balanced approach can be taken.
  • Enabling parents, carers, practitioners and the community to take children to the park and green spaces within their local area.


  • To connect children to nature through accessible activities. 
  • To support children to respect and understand their role in protecting the environment. 
  • To make food growing a part of children’s lives. 
  • To promote children’s health and emotional well-being. 
  • To create nurturing environments that encourage communication and a sense of belonging. 

Natural Thinkers working with Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP)

The Natural Thinkers programme has been developed for use for the under 3’s. It has been introduced into the LEAP settings with a focus on developing the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS);

  • Communication and Language Development
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

During the training participants learn about the benefits of outdoor learning on children’s speech, wellbeing and involvement. Practitioners learn how to monitor children’s progress and to use a communication and language tool to assess if a child needs further support or a referral to the speech and language team.

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