What is nature play?
Nature play is the consistent provision of unstructured, open-ended, exploratory and investigative play for children in a natural, outdoor environment. Strengthened sense of self, identity, autonomy and belonging are created in natural environments as children learn to self-regulate and connect to their individual local environments and contexts. This site and blog connects useful nature and health inspired ideas, programs, activities, research and resources from international and local sources. Children need to know their home and who they are in their world. Connections in nature support holistic, creative, healthy, and balanced development, where intrinsic tools are fostered and strengthened as they grow.
Our changing nature of society from green time to screen time, and the increase in technology play has created a disconnect with children to their natural environment. Their connection to the world has been lost in screens. This is not only an education issue, it is a health issue.
In nature play and outdoor education, children are free to explore and strengthen their own learning styles in natural outdoor environments from the open-ended nature of their available resources. For children that have an abundance of energy, they are free to run and move, using and building their sensory skills by manoeuvring their way around natural objects and increasing the awareness of their natural surroundings. Children who are naturally more creative are free to collect, observe, investigate and explore their discoveries. Auditory learners are free to listen to the natural sounds of their space. The sounds of the birds, or the water, or the wind in the trees. Even the sounds of the local traffic passing by. Sensory exploration is different in every place, and important in identity and belonging. Children’s minds are nurtured. And they need to be given this freedom. They have a right to be given this freedom.
Connecting children to nature has become a movement with increasing worldwide support (for more information about this movement, please click here).
To read more about the values of nature play and education please click here.
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