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Two children looking into a butterfly net

The nature play movement

The international nature play movement has led to the rapid emergence of bush kinder and nature play programs across Victoria and Australia. These programs offer many benefits for children ranging from physical health and wellbeing to social skills and environmental knowledge.

The Understanding Nature Play seminar

In March 2018, Dr Sue Elliot gave a professional development seminar titled Understanding Nature Play in the context of Bush Kinders and the early years of primary school: What's it all about?

Read the seminar slides (pdf, 9.16 MB)

Dr Elliot is a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator in Early Childhood Education at the University of New England (UNE), New South Wales. She's an experienced practitioner, academic, consultant and author in early childhood education.

Her fascinating seminar offered an introduction to nature play and bush kinder and its many benefits to children, ranging from physical health and wellbeing to social skills and environmental knowledge. It included snapshots of current research, examples of international forest school programs and links to current policies.

Relevant learning outcomes

Nature play can be directly linked to Victorian Curriculum Foundation Stage (Years Prep-2) Achievement Standards, all five of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) Learning Outcomes (DEEWR, 2009) and to Quality Areas 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6 of the National Quality Standard (NQS) (ACECQA, 2017).

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