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 for 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
Children will spend the day at the beautiful Long Bay Regional Park playing freely. The northern end of the park will be used where the stream joins the sea and provides the most amazing play space for children. There is the beach to play on, lots of huge tree branches that become space ships and dragons, overhanging trees that provide natural huts, rock pools for exploring, and the shallow stream is perfect for safe water play.
There is also the Nature trail and the walk over the cliff to Granny's Bay which provides a whole new amazing area for play. There will be lots of opportunities for swimming with close adult supervision. The park area has hundreds of trees for climbing, wide open green spaces for large group games, and lots of pockets of bush for imaginative play.