Welcome to Nature Play QLD and thank you for joining the movement to get children back outdoors.
Whether you work in Early Childhood, Primary, FDC or OSHC, as educators, we know outdoor learning, and specifically outdoor learning through play, has positive impacts for children. It stimulates an intrinsic motivation for learning, activates thinking outside the box and achieves greater learning outcomes through improved engagement.
Nature Play QLD can support you to increase the time children in your class, and at your school, spend in outdoor learning and unstructured play in nature. Teaching outdoors can be easily linked to the formal Curriculum and used to strengthen children’s literacy and numeracy.
‘Every curriculum subject can be enhanced and more be accessible to children where outdoor nature play provision is used effectively, promoting active involvement (Edgington, 2002).’
Most people understand the lifelong need of nature play; yet unfortunately, too many children are not getting the outdoor contact and unstructured outdoor playtime they need. Nature play is proven to significantly improve all aspects of child development - physical, mental, social and emotional, including growth of resilience, self-confidence, creativity and more.
How can Nature Play QLD help you as an educator?
Here is a quick overview of our resources, information and activities to inspire you to support your children’s outdoor play. (Hint: link to more info with the heading).
For all educators and children from early childcare to primary
Outdoor Classroom Day QLD is taking place on Thursday 7 September 2017 and is annual event, with 2018 date yet to be announced.
Pledge to get your class, school or centre involved. Doing this will ensure that your school’s participation is acknowledged, as we demonstrate the growing movement to champion outdoor learning. It will also ensure that you, and your school, receive valuable updates that can support you to facilitate outdoor learning and organise your Outdoor Learning Day activities.
As part of this initiative, Nature Play QLD will provide over 20 FREE Australian Curriculum mapped lesson plans, across subject areas, for early childhood and primary years. Lesson plans coming soon.
for educators and children, from childcare to primary
Nature Play QLD supports you by providing FREE outdoor classroom day lesson plans, specifically created for this event to use as you wish. Lesson plans have been developed for all children, whether they’re in early years, kindergarten, prep, or primary school. All primary lesson plans are linked to the appropriate Australian National Curriculum, and resources to support My Time, Our Place outcomes. All early years nature play experiences and learning activities support the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework.
For children aged 3 to 12
“The Passport to an Amazing Childhood” is one of Nature Play QLD’s signature programs. The Nature Play QLD Passport is a fun way for children to record Nature Play “Missions” – activities that encourage outdoor play, creativity, discovery and exploration.
Educators can use the Passport for in-class activities; they’re best suited for children aged from 3 to 12 years old. They can also be used as a homework alternative, with the bonus that children who have spent their afterschool hours outdoors, rather than in front of a screen, will be more engaged for learning the next day.
You can order passports for your students online and find hundreds of outdoor missions for your class.
If you plan to use the Passports with your students, please remember, Passports are sent out in batches every two weeks, so make sure that you order early.
For children aged 3 to 12
The Licence to Play (Outdoors) complements the Passport to an Amazing Childhood. Your students/ the children in your care gain a sense of achievement as they accomplish their Licence to Play. Similar to adult driver licences, kids work their way through three levels (L’s- Loving it, P’s- Passionate, O’s- Organic) to prove their intuitive ability to be a Nature Player!
You can choose how many missions they need to complete and record in their passport, before moving onto the next level of their Licence.
For adults in educational settings or businesses
If you are unsure how to create a Nature Play space for your school or centre, Nature Play Spaces workshops and consultancy can help.
The Nature Play Spaces 1 Day workshop, facilitated by Angela Wright, Nature Play Spaces Consultant and a Landscape Architect Specialist provides you with all the knowledge you need to transform your outdoor space into a nature play space. Topics covered include community engagement, risk benefit analysis and Nature Space design and construction.
For Early Childhood, FDC, OSHC, home school and Primary School Educators
To build your knowledge or the skills of your team, Nature Play QLD offers a range of Forest Learning initiatives. The content for all Forest Learning Profession Development is linked and supports the Australian Curriculum, My Time, Our Place, the Early Years Learning Framework, National Quality Standards and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
These one-day workshops are perfect for those wanting to learn how to implement Forest Learning into your educational centre or school.
These one day workshops are designed to support a whole school or service development of forest learning. The workshop is run at your service and tailored to meet your specific needs and outdoor environment.
This qualifying and thorough, five-day training course is delivered in partnership with the Forest School Learning Initiative Australia.
For carers and educators of infants and toddlers
Most suitable for educators in early childcare settings, GROW with Nature Play is a practical App to build children’s connection with nature, from birth to 3 years. Designed for iPhones and android, up to thirty children can be added to the App which supports its use by early childhood education providers and carers. The App can be used to record the nature play activities of the children in your care, through photos, videos and the App’s personal journal. Parents can then be invited to privately view their child’s outdoor adventures keeping parents updated and connected.
Through the Nature Play QLD website you can access research that explores the need for outdoor learning and unstructured outdoor play (nature play). This research can help guide you in designing outdoor learning experiences for your students and strengthen your own understanding of nature play. It can also be used as evidence to support those leading changes within their schools, childcare centre or organisations.
Share and Learn Together
Our goal is for nature play to become a daily part of EVERY QLD child’s life, but we can’t achieve this without you. As educators that work with children every day, you care and understand what children need. As such we would love to hear your stories and feedback on how Nature Play has benefited the children you work with - Contribute a blog for our website and encourage others to start on the Nature Play journey.
Please join our e-newsletter for updates. Engage with us on social media via the Nature Play QLD Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter pages using #NaturePlayQLD. Please also remember to share your stories and feedback of your engagement with the Passport to An Amazing Childhood activities through the Mission Control Interface.
We look forward to continuing to support you on your Nature Play journey!