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“I don't know how to do an assessment outdoors.”

“I don't have the funds to purchase a library of standardized pediatric OT assessments.” 

“Standardized assessments take too much time and don’t feel necessary to the groups or individual services I’m providing.” 

“Report writing takes me too long and I’m not getting paid for that time.”

Outdoor OT friend, here is what I want you to hear: 

It’s possible for you to provide a QUALITY assessment without spending hundreds of dollars on assessments or sinking hours into planning and report writing.

It’s all about having a proven system for your clinical observations & ready-to-go resources to inspire your assessment activities, record observations, & communicate instructions.

Having a system for your observation-based evaluations makes it possible to:

  • Ensure you're observing all of the areas that you need to observe.

  • Free up brain space so you’re able to focus more on your client instead of worrying about remembering, writing, or planning the next thing.

  • Print out needed materials so you’re ready for a variety of clients and outdoor scenarios.

  • Save time while being able to create reports that are meaningful to your client’s therapy journey while supporting a need for therapy services when appropriate.

  • Quickly complete accurate assessments alongside group therapy enrollment.

Introducing the Nature-Based Observation System!

A process and low-tech tools to elevate your evaluation game from the first meeting to final report.

Know what to do, what to look for, and how to quickly record it. This frees up space in your brain for your work with your client— without compromising your ability to produce a quality report at the end. 

Here’s what you get: 

  • Nature-Based Observation Checklist

  • Nature Observation Narrative Form

  • Observation Cards

  • Print & Go Visual Schedule

  • Nature-Inspired Visual Supports

  • Simple Supply List

  • Report Generator

  • Explanation Videos

Watch the content and download the resources once. Then print, laminate, and use as needed. 

A one-time purchase gives you access to the entire system: $189

A Deep Dive into Everything That’s Included

Nature-Based Observations Served up 3 Ways: Select the form that works best for you based on your experience, clinical style, and each client’s needs.

  • Checklist Form

    This handy tool condenses what you need to observe down into 3 sides of paper. Pick the activities and simply mark off skills or challenges as you see them.

  • Narrative Form

    Are you better at writing down your thoughts? Or do you have a student who needs more space and more direction regarding activities? The narrative form gives activity suggestions and a space to write down what you observe.

  • Observation Cards

    You’ll find the most information on these portable, reusable observation cards. Each activity-focused card includes: Target activity with a picture & instructions; Alternative activity ideas; Foundational skills of the activity Needed supplies; & Tips and alternatives. Only pull out what you need for your evaluations!

Additional Gear You Get With This System

  • 🖨️ Print & Go Visual Schedule

    For clients that benefit from visual schedules to understand and feel safe, this resource is a perfect companion to your nature-based observation activities. Print, laminate, & add velcro and place in your backpack to use over and over again. This tool features photos of real kids, doing the same activities in an outdoor context. Plus, you get access to the template in Canva in case you want to create picture cards of your own.

  • 🌳 Nature-Inspired Visual Supports

    These pictures supplement the activities in the observation assessment to help communicate instructions and foster engagement. Each nature-theme picture helps prompt imagination, body awareness, movement, or conversation. For example: Want to observe your client’s one-leg balance? Bring out the flamingo card and play “stand like a flamingo.” The possibilities are endless as the cards will inspire you to hop like a kangaroo or go on tippy toes to stand tall like a giraffe.

  • ✅ Simple supply List

    The Nature-Based Supply System doesn’t require you to buy a bunch of expensive new supplies. In fact, You get a Simple Supply List so you enter each observation with confidence that you have everything you need for success. The true beauty of this list is that it streamlines everything you could need down to a few tried-and-true supplies that you likely already have. This helps eliminate forgotten supplies or hauling items you don’t need into the woods.

  • 💻 Report Generator

    Streamline your report writing time by using the report generator to transfer your observations into a report! Here’s the beauty — reports that used to take me an hour, now only take me roughly 12 minutes to complete. Here’s how it works. After your session, you transfer your handwritten observations and checkmarks to the generator. Only a few clicks and watch the generator produce a written report for you to print out. In full disclosure, this is not a complete report. It’s a quick way to compile and organize your observations so they can be useful to you and outside readers. You’ll need to supplement this report with a cover page (template included) plus your plan of care and therapy goals. You get one-year access to the time-saving Report Generator with the purchase of the Nature Based Observation System.

  • 🎥 Explanation Videos

    Simple videos will walk you through how to access, set-up, and use each element of the system. Here’s what’s covered: Ideas for effectively using the observation system; How to print and use materials in the woods; Tips to engage fieldwork students; and Ideas to make you more effective and efficient.

The Nature Based Observation System

Hi I’m Angela

Owner of Treeline Enrichment & Mentor to Nature-Based OTs!

I created the Nature-Based Observation System to bring more flow and fun to my evaluations. And now I want the same for you! 

When I first took my assessments out of the clinic and into the woods, I felt lost and uncertain. 

A little research revealed there wasn't anything available to support nature-based OTs through the evaluation process. What I wanted was a way to dig into the nuances of observing and assessing important skills like sensory motor development, social emotional development, and overall client strengths in the outdoor spaces of our sessions. 

Inspired by the potential of complete outdoor therapy from start to discharge, I got passionate about creating the best, most efficient way to complete an entire evaluation outdoors. 

I pictured getting evaluation information by going on a hike and weaving in little side “adventures” like finding objects in the woods, crossing a log, or sitting down to write in a nature journal.

After some trial and error, I created the activities, forms, and report generator that make up my current system for evaluations. 

I’m thrilled to report back to you… I now look forward to my evaluations. They are fun for both me and the clients. And I don’t dread hours of report writing afterward. 

Let’s Hear from Past System Users…

“The Nature-Based Observation Tool is brilliant. It’s so well thought out, extensive and clear. It captures the essence of our profession and contribution of nature as a co-facilitator in the process. I LOVE the cards and ability to sort through what I might want. I also LOVE the narrative form so I can jot notes if needed. I love the pictures to help guide the kids. The correlation to functional and neurological foundations is so great.”

Erin, Thrive Therapuetics

“The hardest part for outdoor evaluations has been taking notes in the moment. I like the tool because it is easy to check off as I go without disrupting the flow and I don't have to struggle to remember what happened during the evaluation. I have also been having my OT student use the tool as a way to work on clinical observations during sessions. This is very helpful because I'm not trying to subtly point out what I'm looking for without the child noticing.”

Kristi, Beaches Nature Therapy

FAQs & Important Info

  • Will I receive a physical product?

    No, this is a digital product. You must print the PDF documents provided and follow the included instructions to get the system set up.

  • Is this a standardized assessment?

    This tool is not a standardized assessment. It does not provide clear qualification criteria for services. It requires keen observations, professional experience, additional sources of data (i.e. parent report measures, parent interviews, standardized assessments), and advanced clinical reasoning for effective use in the evaluation process. Remember, the objective of completing an evaluation is to get baseline data and have a way to understand each child, their challenges and their goals. This can be done without completing a standardized assessment. The need for a standardized assessment might vary by reimbursement requirements.

  • Can I share this resource with my team?

    As the original purchaser of the Nature Based Observations System, you have permission to use this tool with your own clients and within your nature-based practice. No part of this observation tool should be shared (digitally or printed) or used outside of your own clients or your nature-based practice.

  • How long do I have access?

    You ONLY have 30 days to access this course on Thinkific - you must download all materials within that time frame. After 30 days you will have to repurchase the observation tool to regain access. This might not feel like much time but I did that intentionally to motivate you to get this system downloaded so you can move on and not need to come back to the website. However, you will be given access to the report generator for 1 year from your date of purchase.

  • What type of clients do I use this assessment with?

    This observation tool can be used across age ranges but is likely best utilized with kids ages 5-10. This is a great option to explore for: Someone that is not a good match for a standardized assessment; A child that is interested in the outdoors; Situations where you are completing more frequent evaluations or a functional re-evaluation; Quick assessments related to therapy groups enrollment; Kids who are anxious about the evaluation process; You want an assessment that dove-tails into your nature-based sessions. Honestly, I use this system for most of my nature-based evaluations and supplement or modify as needed. Overall, feel free to experiment, use your professional discretion, and use the parts that make sense for each individual client.

Final Thought Before You Go...

This is intentionally not a rigid system.

It gives you structure, tools, and lots of ideas. 

Here’s the beauty, even if the exact activity suggestions don't align with what you have, this system gets your brain going in a direction to figure out what you
 can do.

If your site doesn’t have a log, consider observing balance on a balance board or the edge of a sidewalk.

Or if you don’t offer tree climbing, then look at a similar task like climbing a rock or a vertical climb on a play structure.

The point is — there are so many ways to complete high-quality evaluation observations in nature. 

Get this flexible system and you’ll change how to complete your nature-based observations forever. And save a lot of time in the process.