The foundation of our programmes is free-play in a natural setting with as little assistance as possible from equipment and technology. We offer a chance for children to play as they like, for as long as they like, within a framework of respect for those around them and the environment.
Extension opportunities will be available but only if the children genuinely want to participate. We provide basic equipment suitable to exploring the outdoors: ropes, tarpaulins, bungees, compass, magnifying glasses, knives (to be used with supervision) and some art equipment.
Our programs are designed as an antidote to the fast-paced technology-filled world many children now inhabit. Any personal devices (phones, iPods, etc) must be left at home.
Our children’s lives are so filled with structure, this program aims to give them a break from instruction and allow them to play as they like, for as long as they like, within a framework of respect for those around them and the environment.
Extension opportunities will be available but only if the children genuinely want to participate. Playing in the outdoors inevitably means getting dirty, and often getting a few scrapes and bruises too. If you or your child are not happy with this concept then this is not the programme for you.
The program will go ahead in all weather. Rain brings exciting opportunities for play and exploration and of course shelter building! Good quality wet weather gear is very important. We wholeheartedly believe the famous quote "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing".
Waterproof gear (jacket and pants) is compulsory for rainy days. We offer waterproof pants for sale in our online shop. In case of the severe weather warning, we always have an indoor venue booked and ready to move the group in.
Some benefits of regular free play in nature:
- Increased physical activity, and less risk of childhood obesity
- Children learn to interact with, and better understand the natural world
- Helps improve children’s cognitive function, personality development, and attention in school
- Improves childhood mental health and ability to handle stress
- ‘Dangerous’ free play gives children a chance to develop the physical and emotional skills to deal with emergencies
- Children learn to assess and manage risks
- Learn to regulate emotion, and practice negotiation skills
- Develop and practice motor skills
- Supports creativity and problem solving
- Improves the performance of children with ADHD.
Ratio 1 adult: 8 children.
Fort Takapuna has delighted us with its secret treasures! Together we'll scramble up and down rocky paths, investigate tide pools and hidden coves, build huts and climb trees in a secluded bush, let our imaginations run wild exploring the tunnels and historic barracks, and of course enjoy bull rush in the wide open green oasis!
Fingers crossed for rain, as the Fort also boasts some of the biggest puddles we've had the pleasure to play in! Let your kids unwind these school holidays playing like previous generations in Devonport did... away from screens and schedules, exploring the natural beauty that we are blessed with.