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Encouraging Children’s Patterns Of Play Within The Natural World 

FOR: Adults! Parents, Educators, Administrators, Caregivers
DATE: Friday & Saturday July 22 & 23 
TIME: 9-3 each day
 $310 (includes lunch and snack both days) 
LOCATION: Ferntop Nature School 7731 Fernvale Road, Fairview TN 37062 
INSTRUCTORS: Sandra Duncan & Clare Nugent
Training certificate will be provided at the conclusion.

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Dr. Duncan's upcoming book, The Honeycomb Hypothesis

Have you ever observed honey bees flitting around and nosing up to sweet-smelling flowers? Pause to  observe them, and you may notice just how these little wonders of nature are busily gathering pollen to  carry back to their honeycomb hives. This repeated gathering, collecting, taking, and placing the pollen  in the honeycomb is innate and instinctive. Honey bees happily buzz back and forth, back and forth, and  repeat the process so quickly, you may grow dizzy as you observe. The same is true for young children.  The only difference is they are collecting bits and pieces of data from the environments to store in their  honeycomb brains.  

Come and join author, designer and lecturer Dr. Sandra Duncan and Naturalist/Teacher Clare Nugent for  PATTERNS OF PLAY CAMP. Our days will be a delightful combination of talks and experiences  surrounded by the inspiring spaces of Ferntop Nature School. Participants will engage in these nature based experiences using three new pedagogical practices designed especially for fostering children’s  mental models or schemas as we deeply explore 6 patterns of play in children: 

1. Hiding/Revealing 

2. Making/Unmaking 

3. Carrying/Placing 

4. Attaching/Detaching 

5. Turning/Stopping 

6. Propelling/Hindering 

Understanding schema, and these innate urges of children, will inspire you to step into the joy and  wonder of childhood, and inspire you as a co-player and learner with children. 



Clare Nugent

Clare Nugent owns and operates Ferntop Nature School, the first licensed nature preschool in the Southeast. As a naturalist and educator, her goal is to open eyes and  hearts to the joy, wonder and possibilities of the natural world.

Sandra Duncan
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Childhood is fleeting—it’s a short moment in time, but a precious time and important to preserve. Sandra works to assure the miracle and magic of childhood through indoor and outdoor play spaces that are intentionally designed to connect children to their early learning environments and communities. Dr. Duncan is an international consultant, author of six books focused on the design of early childhood places, designer of two furniture collections, and adjunct faculty at Nova Southeastern University. Sandra has designed and taught university courses on built early learning environments, collaborating to create extraordinary places and possibilities for children and students of all ages.

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