Going Back to Nature with Bush Kinder
We’re excited to announce that the children at Cheeky Clouds are getting back to nature as part of the new Bush Kinder program. Beginning in February, this program gives children an opportunity to reconnect with the land in a completely natural environment, away from the distractions of toys and play equipment. This helps them to develop an appreciation of Australia’s natural beauty while teaching the importance of maintaining the environment.
Every fortnight, Cheeky Clouds kindergarteners will venture on an excursion to the You Yangs National Park where they will be immersed in a rich natural environment. The program runs all year round in a range of weather conditions, providing children with a wide range of opportunities to fully explore the natural benefits of the environment.
What are the learning benefits of Bush Kinder?
There are many benefits of children spending time outdoors, including increased health and wellbeing, language and social development along with improved cognitive thinking skills and social development.
Exploring the natural environment encourages children to be imaginative, without the prompts from resources or classroom surroundings. Through nature, classroom learning concepts are also explored, including mathematical and science concepts, storytelling, art and creativity, and dramatic play. It also promotes opportunities for uninterrupted blocks of time where children are free to learn at their own pace.
One of the key learning benefits is children getting acquainted with our native flora and fauna such as the unique texture and look of our national plants and flowers, as well as learning their individual names. The natural world holds true elements of surprise and delight.
At Cheeky Clouds we acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land, the Wadawurrung peoples, and their knowledge of learning. Our Bush Kinder program is guided by the Aboriginal 8 ways pedagogy framework which includes learning through the land and nature. This encourages children to develop an understanding of the importance of not taking things out of their natural environment or disturbing habitats.
Being free to roam in the natural world encourages children to take risks and build their self-confidence. These activities might include constructing forts from fallen tree branches, climbing rocks and trees, cooking on a camp fire or jumping in muddy puddles.
What does it teach children about the environment?
Exploring the great outdoors offers children the opportunity for organic interaction and the discovery of new and fascinating elements.
As the children explore, they are introduced to a range of flora and fauna they might not experience in a domestic backyard such as large trees, plants, shrubs, blossoms, insects, wildlife, types of rock and underlying terrain. This kind of discovery leads to curiosity and inquiry questions that contribute to a wider understanding of ecological systems, geology, habitats, life cycles and conservation.
Being unsheltered also exposes children to natural weather patterns and their effects on the world around them. This plays a part in how they begin to comprehend phenomena such as drought and flooding.
If you have questions about our Bush Kinder program, or you would like to enrol your child so they too can experience getting back to nature with us, please email Cheeky Clouds or feel free to give us a call on 03 5276 4445.