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What Kids Want

It is unanimous - children want to spend more time playing in nature! We hear it every week: "can we stay here?" "can we come back tomorrow" "I wanted to build a shelter" "I love playing in the creek" "I love having a fire" "can we camp here".... Not only is nature play good for their health and well being it is also: fun, exciting, interesting, challenging, soul fulfilling and very desirable!

Hammocks over water and creek adventures are favourite activities and are requested often..

Children arrive at our sessions with a plan - they might want to revisit a favourite activity, catch up with a friend or test out their skill at whittling, building or fire-craft... our role is to support this plan coming to fruition, we do this through careful observation and planning. Our philosophy is founded on the belief that children learn through play, are masters of their own learning and are capable and competent individuals. Because of this we have no trouble following their lead and putting our adult agenda aside... when we do this we find children are more relaxed, willing to share their ideas and follow their own interests! 
It is refreshing and rewarding to hear "we loved the hammock - can we do that again" or "we had to go and purchase a junior hack saw to continue our wood work" 
At the core of our practice is to come up with fun and easy ideas for connecting children with nature. We want to inspire children to get outside and play!! Even just spending an hour outside drastically reduces stress levels and improves concentration and creativity. 

Using clay to make 'tree spirits' inspired creativity and imagination...

Children who regularly attend our sessions are so enthusiastic and excited to be in nature, they count down the day's until their next adventure and look for ways to connect with nature while at home and in the community! One family supports their child's connection to nature through observing mini beasts - bees, stick insects and beetles. Another family is building an ant colony for their child, while another is enrolling their children in a long bow making workshop. When we have respect and passion for nature we model positive dispositions towards the natural world and give children the gift of learning through nature!

Using flint and steel to light a small bunch of tinder..

Children of all ages enjoy playing and exploring in nature. Using real tools inspires children to overcome challenges and view themselves as capable and competent. Here we see three boys working together to use flint to light tinder, this required perseverance and encouragement from peers. They eagerly celebrated their achievement and shared their technique with the group! Engaging in group activities improves social skills and supports children developing a sense of belonging.

Combining regular time in nature with fun and interesting connective activities, positive parental dispositions and social experiences gives children a well rounded appreciation for what nature has to offer and leaves them wanting more! Let's give the children what they want and need and spend as much time as possible playing in nature together!!

Making catapults in the bush - a family project