Core Practice

Ann Thompson on being Naturally Creative

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Ann Thompson on being Naturally Creative


Ann Thompson is an early years consultant who inspires settings to develop outstanding outdoor learning environments and practice. She has developed a plethora of ideas for the creative use of natural materials to encourage children to explore at their own pace, grow in confidence and develop a love of learning.

Her natural curriculum offers opportunities for children to be outdoors in all weathers, for long periods of time experiencing variable weather conditions, seasonal changes and the chance to discover, using all their senses, the beauty of nature while focusing on their individual fascinations and interests. She encourages staff and parents to take children to explore their local environment together and access beaches, woodland and parks to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors, foster a desire to care for our natural environments and slow down and appreciate the magnificence of being part of life on this beautiful planet.

Ann believes that when we have direct contact with nature we can receive a most precious gift: a lifelong sense of wonder.

For more ideas, resources and details of Ann Thompson’s Naturally Creative Early Years Consultancy service please visit

Ann’s website at

Nature’s Colour Palette Book written by Ann and Clare Thompson, photography by Gaynor Davies.

£10.00 plus p and p and can be purchased at:

There is a read through version of the book that can be viewed on youtube via this link:

Naturally Creative Outdoors: Ideas for developing fine motor skills pocket size swatch by Ann and Clare Thompson can be purchased from Cosy catalogue:

Recommended books:

Little Cloud- Eric Carle

Cloudland – John Burningham

Recommended websites:

Early Childhood Outdoors

Richard Shilling’s

The Woodland Trust Nature Detectives

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Kathy Brodie

Kathy Brodie