Play is the heart of childhood and imagination is the heart of play.
To be fully absorbed and completely present in the moment is the wonder of childhood.
Play helps children make sense of the world around them, developing emotional and social threads that impact their natural impulses to connect, engage and investigate.
Open ended, Unstructured, Free play is naturally child directed and nurtures the whole child, igniting imagination and independence.
To nurture the whole child, we need to appreciate that children learn deeply through play, that ‘play’ is at the heart of childhood. Unstructured play in-particular provides opportunities for the child to naturally investigate and engage with the world.
More green time and less screen time has never been more relevant, and nature is the ultimate classroom. Free-flow play connects children to nature, to each other and their immediate environment. Child-directed learning builds resilient, resourceful and creative thinkers.
Children learn in and from nature. Freedom to direct their own learning and test a level of ‘risky-play’ increases their sense of engagement and motivation, independence and confidence. When children are free to initiate and explore at their own pace, we set the intention that we value their ability to self- regulate and set boundaries, we trust their innate connection to nature and the mindfulness that being in nature fosters.
Crafting in and from nature is filled with natural learning outcomes as children immerse themselves in the beauty and wonder of working with what nature provides and observing seasonal changes as they unfold. Time in nature to explore, collect, observe and connect is vital to how a child sees themselves in the world, that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Our children are the future guardians of this planet we call home and nature- based learning nurtures meaningful experiences for positive life-long impact and a sense of connection and willingness to work together, with nature, for a better shared future.
‘Play is a crucial element in supporting children’s health, development and wellbeing and a means through which they experiment, develop their abilities, get creative and explore the world around them. Effective play enables children to create rules and understandings; develop resilience; be active; be creative and imaginative; practice new skills; learn about risks; stimulate their senses and build friendships and relationships’. Futurelab.org.uk/Forest School
Here are some direct links to support natural play at home….
Treasure hunt download