Our Trial Bush Kindy Event

Our Trial Bush Kindy Event

On 1st and 8th December, 20 happy little Butterfly children had a day out in the bush on a property near Preston, only 10 minutes from the centre.  Two groups of 10 buckled up in the mini bus with Director Lyn as the driver, accompanied by Teacher Zai giving directions and Assistant Sepi followed, bringing all the food and the first aid kit and the bush toilet and the tools and ..... .....;)

The first group decided to sing the whole way and we hadn't even gone out of the carpark.  They wanted to make sure those wheels on the bus went round and round.  The second group was more interested in looking out the windows at the traffic then, as houses became more sparse, the trees and then we saw some horses.  We watched as Zai opened the gate and knew we had arrived.

It was all excitement when we clambered out of the bus, keen to get going.  But those hunger pains immediately got the better of us so we sat down in the neaby barn and ate our little granny smith apples, celery and carrot sticks.  Well it was now play time.

But first we had to set up the bush toilet aka 'dunny'.  No water to flush!!  Then we were shown the boys' 'wee tree' and of course we needed to go to the toilet just to try these amenities out.  Armed with our water bottles, down we ran to the bushy area where lots of gum trees, privet, logs, boulders, grass etc provided a haven in which to explore; lots of climbing, balancing, hiding, a few falls, getting bitten by bull ants, rock hopping, swinging, walking and running occurred.  The first group had time to experiment with the tools we had purchased especially for the bush; handsaws, drills, hammers, whittling tools.  There was lots of timber we could use but it is awfully hard trying to saw a branch when it is a dead one.  We used our string and some wool and made all sorts of creations.

The privet tree might be listed as a pest but what a wonderful haven it made to protect us from the heat.  It provided a valuable resource where we had endless opportunities to:

  • negotiate
  • take risks
  • have free choice of activities
  • use imagination
  • be creative
  • be resilient
  • engage with nature and our friends too of course
  • have a connection with the environment
  • access to open ended resources
  • GET DIRTY and HAVE FUN

We soon worked up an appetite so back to the barn to prepare our own lunches.  The children had to butter their own bread and top it with their filling.  Hard boiled eggs were popular and it didn't matter if spaghetti dribbled down our chins, nor if our hands weren't as clean as they could be.  One boy devoured 6 slices of bread, all with vegemite he had spread.  Watermelon, cherry tomatoes, leftover carrot finished us off nicely.  All with plenty of water.

Then it was back down to the privet grove.  Helping each other negotiate big boulders and large tree trunks needed to be done at first, but before long the children were able to work out how to either climb over or on top without their hand needing to be held.

During their play, the 2nd group found some bones.  What could they be from?  Dinosaurs?  Dragons?  We looked at the segments and noticed it was probably a long tail, so decided it was most likely the skeletal remains of a wallaby or kangaroo.  We could hold up part of the skeleton and even look through it.  The pelvic bone made it perfect for that!  Let's take them back to the centre!  This group had one last try on the newly erected rope sing.  Oh we could swing so far out, but we had to hang on tightly.  So good for our upper core muscles.

Well the day was rapidly drawing to a close with some very tired children...and staff, so the return journey was a bit quieter than the morning trip.  It was back to the centre to catch up with out friends wo weren't able to join us and tell them all about our day.

There are so many possibilites when playing outside in nature; stimulating curiosity and engaging children in rich learing opportunities within the nature pedagogy.  Can't wait to do this again.  Certainly a successful trial!

Cutting edge research shows that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development - physical, emotional and spiritual.  The lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation-Nature deficit, is linked to the most disturbing childhood trends such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and depression.  Louv, R. (2005).  Last Child in the Woods

 

 

Mirambeena Weekend Camping Trip - 30 November & 1 December

14 people joined in over the weekend to participate in Mirambeena’s 7th camping trip which took place at the tranquil spot near Crows Nest at Ivory Creek.

Despite the rain on Friday, the campers stayed dry, although the rain did deter some families from travelling on the gravel road.

The shallow water in the creek offered a wonderful opportunity for the children (and adults) to have a splashing good time, sailing boats down stream, throwing balls, rock hopping and explore the surrounding area covered in Xanthoreas.  The camp fire provided an avenue for lots of laughs and of course delicious dinners cooked in the camp ovens, even muffins cooked in one too for morning tea.