Your place matters

This post originally appeared in Dr. Rachel A. Larimore’s weekly Samara newsletter on November 7, 2023. If you’re interested in receiving these emails, scroll to the bottom of this page to subscribe.

Over the last couple of years  I’ve been connecting more with early childhood educators throughout the world. Most recently I’ve been working with Early Years International and a group of early childhood educators from China. We meet each month to discuss their successes and challenges of implementing nature-based education. 

Every time we meet I am struck by how much of our work is universal. No matter the location, educators face questions from parents about the value of play and academic readiness. Educators everywhere see the value of risky play, but also worry about how to manage risky play. Toileting and hand washing in the woods is another question I hear from educators worldwide.

Despite so much being universal, place is vital to our work in nature-based early childhood education. It’s universal that our programs connect to nature, but the plants, animals, and culture of our place are unique.  In other words, the principles are the same, but where we are in the world will influence the experiences children have day in and day out.  

I discussed the importance of place in a recent conversation with Dr. Debra Lawrence, President of the International Play Association-USA (IPA-USA). This conversation is part of the IPA-USA’s podcast series “Porch Play Chats.” 


Be sure to check out the other Porch Play Chats here. There are some amazing guests and conversations! 

Here’s to a great week enjoying the wonders of your place in the world.

Keep changing lives,


Rachel A. Larimore, Ph.D., Chief Visionary of Samara Learning


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