Natural environments are more than places where children live, learn, and play. Natural learning environment practices start with looking at the activities children participate in during their everyday life at home and in the community. These everyday activities provide learning opportunities, which, in turn, lead to increased participation and skill development for the child. (1) Researchers in the field of early childhood have identified that children learn best when they are participating in these naturally occurring learning opportunities that are a part of everyday routines and activities within the real life of their families and other children they know.(2,3,4)
2 Dunst, C. J., Bruder, M. B., Trivette, C. M., Raab, M., & McLean, M. (2001). Natural learning opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Young Exceptional Children, 4(3), 18-25. (Erratum in Young Exceptional Children, 4(4), 25)
3 Shelden, M. L., & Rush, D. D. (2001). The ten myths about providing early intervention services in natural environments. Infants & Young Children, 14(1), 1-13.