CHILDREN will have the chance to enjoy more of the great outdoors with a brand new nature kindergarten opening next month.
White Gum Valley childcare centre Little Learners has taken inspiration from more than 50 years of Scandinavian tradition to create their own nature kindergarten or forest school, a form of preschool education that encourages children to play, learn and explore almost exclusively in an outdoor setting.
Little Learners director Ken Scott-Hamilton said the new nature kindergarten would run side-by-side with its more traditional counterpart, allowing local parents to have more options.
“I am a huge advocate in allowing the children to be outdoors as much as possible because most activities that can be done indoors can be done outdoors,” he said.
“So after months of planning, research and collaboration with community members, outdoor based child centric organisations and like-minded peers running similar outdoor schools I decide to transform a previously uninspiring, underutilised area of the existing childcare centre into WA’s first full time onsite nature kindergarten.
“Our nature kindergarten program will also incorporate many important life skills for the children while they learn through play and whilst strongly supervised, the children will be able to do their own risk/benefit analysis before deciding to do anything outdoors which is an incredibly important life skill that they need to be allowed to learn.
“While there are some similar concepts in existence throughout Australia I believe this to be the first fulltime, onsite nature kindergarten and I am certain that in the future this type of outdoor kindergarten will gain popularity with many more becoming available for children throughout Australia.”
Enrolment for the new nature kindergarten is open from October 2 with a public open day on October 7 between 10am and 1pm.