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Bush Kinder

Great News! 
In 2017 our Bush Kinder program pilot was a fantastic success.  As a result, our Bush Kinder program is incorporated into one of our 4yo Kinder groups each year.  It is loved by our Educators, parents and most importantly the children.

Bush Kinder program operates within the You Yangs Regional Park, during selected dates in Term 2 and Term 3.

Children are supported to learn, take risks, engage and explore, whatever the weather.  Outdoor spaces with plants, trees, rocks, mud and water invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking and a connection with nature.  Bush kinder has: no toys, no tools, and no art supplies.  The children benefit from using only what nature provides and their imaginations create.

The opportunity to play in natural settings has many positive outcomes and the benefits of the Bush Kinder include:

·    increasing evidence that children’s inner wellbeing is benefited by being outdoors as the natural environment enhances their health, learning and behaviour by supporting personal and social development, as well as physical and mental health

·    increased social confidence, motivation and concentration

·    increased opportunity for imaginative play

·    the sense of calm and restoration gained from spending time in the bush

·    providing children with a connection while they are young, and the hope they will build a sense of belonging and respect for the natural environment as they grow.Image result for bush kinder

Bush Kinder Program Objectives

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·    Children are natural learners and Bush Kinder will provide your child with three hours of uninterrupted play in a bush setting, using what nature has provided as learning materials.

·    During a Bush Kinder session children will be given the chance to engage in unstructured free play.  This provides children the opportunity to explore the environment at their own pace and uncover the many wonders of the bush.

·    Children will have the opportunity to play in the rain, jump in puddles, draw with sticks in the dirt and walk/balance on fallen logs.  The opportunity to construct their own learning is endless.

·    Bush Kinder allows children the opportunity to take supported risks that will give them invaluable learning.

Bush Kinder Activities, some examples:

Activities may include:

Developmental benefits:

Playing imaginative games using the resources nature provides

Open ended learning allows children to explore at their own pace and with their own challenges

Role play

Shared imagination, drama, team work, recollection of models of behaviour

Building shelters or structures from branches, with the help of other children and adults

This requires goal definition, planning, engineering, teamwork and perseverance

Counting objects or looking for mathematical patterns

Mathematics, visual recognition

Memory games using naturally available objects

Memory, naming objects

Listening to stories; singing songs and rhymes

Art, drama, concentration

Arranging items to make a picture or installation

Art, imagination and creativity

Drawing scenes

Art, creativity, observation of flora, fauna and surroundings

Climbing trees, walking on logs and rocks

Improves strength, balance and physical awareness

Walking within the parklands

Improves strength and stamina; preparation (e.g. route selection) improves planning and communication skills

Exploring or reflecting alone

Aids self-awareness and character development

Play involving water where it occurs naturally (eg. puddles / walks in the rain in Bush Kinder area)

Experience and understanding of all weather conditions and their effect on the natural environment.

Using tools

Using tools safely to, eg. make items out of bark & sticks, or to plant seeds/seedlings and other gardening activities