"Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives." - T. Berry (author and cultural historian)Welcome!  This page is presented and supported by Early Childhood Education faculty and dedicated to what is new and current in the local, provincial, national and global scene relating to the activities, research and collaborations concerning children and the natural world.

The World Forum Nature Action Collaborative for children issued a Call to Action in July 2008 with the purpose of strengthening children’s relationship with the natural world.  Humber College Early Childhood Educators, in partnership with the Centre for Urban Ecology are responding to the call by initiating various programs and events that bring together students, teachers, educators and professionals from different disciplines.

It is imperative that as a community, children experience the natural world every day and in multiple ways. The opportunities for children to experience, manipulate, discover and learn from nature have diminished in recent years.  As adults, we have the responsibility to reverse this pattern and find ways together to embrace the distinct value that connection with the natural environment brings to the child’s life.

"I am now realizing how I forgot about playing outdoors as a child, and the joy I felt" (ECE student)Welcome to the place where we can make a difference to ourselves and the children we nuture! 

Nature Workshops with an IPE Model

  • Research study in progress of 5 workshops offered to ECE, OTA & PTA, Horticulture students
  • Collaboration with Humber Arboretum and Centre for Urban Ecology
  • Variety of hands-on activities for children ages infants through schoolage

picture drawing of bugs, insects, representing POND conference

Places of Natural Discovery Conference (P.O.N.D)

Thank you to all who made have participated in our P.O.N.D Conference and contributed to the wonderful success that it is. 

Please visit our Conferences page (click here) to learn about the details for the 2014 P.O.N.D Annual Conference!


What is P.O.N.D? The Places of Natural Discovery Conference (P.O.N.D) Conference is presented by the Early Childhood Education program in partnership with the Arboretum and Centre for Urban Ecology.  

This event began in 2010 and focuses on connecting children with nature; the educator’s relationship to nature, design of children’s outdoor playspace, involving parents in nature education, using natural materials in early learning environments and developing relationships amongst educators, landscape and horticulture specialists and gardeners.  

The conference has grown in attendance over the years.  Participants represent various front line ECE positions, supervisor and directors, kindergarten teachers, boards of education representatives, government policy researchers, family and community centres, and individual educators. Keynote presenters include experts in their field.

Participants enjoy workshops that vary in focus; the use of natural materials, planting with children, outdoor activities, and issues of outdoor playspace for children of varying abilities and more. Student work is displayed over the lunch hour as well as a nature based silent auction which raises money for student initiatives at Humber. 



Humber Arboretum  
Nature programs and events are offered to childcare centres, schools and community groups.

A leading national funder and facilitator of local, sustainable greening projects.

Children and Nature Network 
Providing a link between those dedicated to children’s health and well-being.

World Forum Nature Action Collaborative 
For the well-being of children and their connection with nature.

picture of event participant walking through arborteum   picture of snail


Julie Valerio: 416.675.6622 ext.4180
Carol Reid: 416.675.6622 ext.5448