Nature Story

Nature story is an educational experience that uses the power of storytelling to help young children explore natural materials in a way that is engaging for parents as well. Activities include:

  • Books about characters inspired by natural materials
  • Parent-child activities about natural materials
  • Letting children create their own worlds and sharing their stories online

The concept of Nature Story was based off a two-week research project focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected families with younger children around the world. In particular, the research was focused on how emerging behaviors in the beginning stages of the pandemic could influence future ways of living. Due to the shelter-in-place guidelines in Costa Rica at the time, all interviews and activities were conducted remotely.

As part of their research, the team conducted interviews with four families from the United States, India, and Denmark. They also conducted interviews with three subject matter experts in the US – including an educational policy expert, a learning designer, and a daycare owner. Research methods used include in-depth interviews, emotional seismographs, and show-and-tell activities.

Three clear insights emerged from the research:

  1. Structuring time, space, and activities properly can help work-from-home parents to maximize engagement with their kids and work.
  2. Online education used thoughtfully can promote cultural diversity. When used poorly, it can exacerbate inequalities.
  3. Parents are becoming more resourceful with the found materials around them to recreate high quality learning experiences found in in- the-know schools and daycares. By open- sourcing these tips, these learning experiences becoming accessible to more families.

From these insights, the team identified three opportunity areas from which the concept of Nature Story was born:

  1. How might we empower work- from-home parents to create collaborative learning interactions with their children without disrupting their work schedules?
  2. How might we create portals for young children to expand outside of their local context and learn from a diverse set of cultural perspectives?
  3. How might we better incorporate materials of nature to provide kids with a tangible and playful learning experience that gives them a sense of appreciation for the environment?