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Growing Up WILD

Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children is Project WILD's early childhood education activity guide. It builds on the learning styles and interests of young children to foster an interest and appreciation of wildlife and the natural world around them. A variety of activities build positive impressions of nature while aiding children's cognitive growth and development.

The Growing Up WILD Guide:

  • Is written for early childhood educators who work with children ages 3 to 7.
  • Contains 27 hands-on, field-tested activities that focus on wildlife and nature.
  • Is a full-color, 11" x 17", easy-to-use book.
  • Features arts and crafts projects, music, conservation activities, reading and math connections and ways to continue the learning process at home.
  • Blends social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive domains to help foster learning.
  • Is targeted to young children and is appropriate for their learning styles, social skills and cultures.
  • Is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains.
  • Is referenced in ODE's Model Curriculum for Science in the Instructional Strategies and Resources for K-2nd grade content statements.
  • Many workshops are Ohio Approved credit approved. Check out www.occrra.org to find eligible workshops.
  • Copy Me pages are available at www.projectwild.org 

The activity guides are available by attending an approved Growing Up WILD educator workshop, which is listed at the bottom of this page. Workshops are offered throughout Ohio by the Ohio Project WILD Volunteer Facilitator Network and by Ohio Division of Wildlife staff. Centers and organizations can also request private training workshops for their staff. Contact the Wildlife Education Coordinator to request a private training.

Kindergarten through second grade teachers: there's a new Growing Up WILD program for you! The Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Resource Center partnered on a grant from the Ohio EPA's Ohio Environmental Education Fund to create modified Growing Up WILD lessons that help you use Science and Social Studies to boost your English Language Arts and Mathematics lessons.  This new program is called Curious KIDSS.

Curious KIDSS workshops are now being offered around the state. Upcoming workshops can be found at the bottom of this page.  If you already have a Growing Up WILD guide, feel free to use the modified lessons online at Curious KIDSS!

For more information, contact the Wildlife Education Coordinator at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or outdoor.education@dnr.ohio.gov