The Landscape of Childhood is a metaphor developed by Sobel suggesting a trail guide through "varied habitats" for providing developmentally appropriate ways to engage children in nature play (Sobel, 2011, p.27). Sobel explains that "each stage we are designed to seek something different with the outside world" (p. 27). Sobel suggests that adults in varied roles engaging with children in the outdoors will benefit from being "aware of the lay of the land in the child-nature landscape" (p.28). This awareness provides adult companions in nature with an age appropriate context for successfully engaging children in natural settings with the goal to develop an affinity with the natural world.
The Landscape of Childhood (p. 27-28)
The meadow of early childhood
The forest of early elementary years
The rocky outcrops of early adolescence