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Children in the Garden


Kimberly O'Donnell is credentialed in the state of NH as an Early Childhood and Afterschool Master Professional Trainer and Program Consultant. She has provided trainings through ACROSS NH, Child Care Aware, and privately. She has provided workshops for parents and staff at various organizations such as childcare centers, after school programs, Early Intervention and Headstart settings, etc. What do you want to know more about? Below are several topics but if you have specific areas or needs, please let us know!

Brain Architecture and How Outdoor Experiences Shape Development

We will start by diving into some science about how nature-based play supports early development and all nature offers. We will engage in some group exploration to break down experiences during nature-based play, identifying what is being cultivated. We will discuss each developmental domain. See, foster, and document the development in the great outdoors. This session will ideally be held completely outdoors, weather permitting.

Trauma-Informed De-escalation in School Age Children

Children continue to develop their cognitive and social emotional skills, including self-regulation, throughout their elementary years. How can we help when a child is in distress? In this session we will learn about the child brain development and what happens when they “flip their lid.” You will walk away with ready to use strategies to help a child in distress and develop their skills for self-regulation. Most importantly, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the complexities of children’s behavior.

Sensory Processing Encompasses the WHOLE Child

Our sensory systems help us to learn and make sense of the relationship between self and environment. Gain an understanding about each sensory system and how they can be perceived. We have 8 sensory systems and 4 ways to perceive each one! Piece together a sensory profile for a child in your care, share, and get input from colleagues. We will engage all of our sensory systems through play and piece together our own profile too!

Trauma-Informed Practices for Preschool Children

Understand the impact of trauma on the brain and the behaviors that communicate a need for support. Learn about best practices, the pyramid model, and strategies to help build resiliency, social emotional skills, and trusting relationships. These practices can be used for all children and support those with anxiety or social deficits.

Routine, Mindfulness, Games, and a Child’s Executive Function

There is rapid development of executive functioning skills during a child’s preschool years, 3-5 years old. While there are many skills that build up one’s executive functioning, we will discuss the specific skills to be fostered in preschool. We will also make the connection of how mindfulness practices and daily routines support EF skills and learn the balance between adult directed learning and child-led unstructured time for EF development. There will be meditation, games, and strategies to add to your daily routines!

Relate, Engage, and Support Children with ASD

Come learn about the unique strengths and challenges that can be common for children with ASD as we look at neurodiverse characteristics and differences. ALL children want to connect and belong, even those children who have challenges in areas of social-emotional and play. Use patience and gradual approaches to build relationships and engage children in your care with ASD. Walk away with knowledge, strategies, and a new perspective. 

Trainings are $100/hour with no added costs for travel within 30 minutes, handouts or materials, or prep time. Individual trainings are 2 hours minimum. We can also plan a series of training over a period of time or a full day of training up to 6 hours. Topics below can be altered or adjusted to best meet the needs of your program. New topic ideas or needs are always welcomed!


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