PRIMARY school teachers Daniel Burton, of Perth, and Trudi Bennett, of Duncraig, have launched Mud Pies Nature Playgroups in Tapping this term.
Working with the City of Wanneroo, they are encouraging young children to explore their senses and connect with nature through a variety of activities at Da Vinci Park.
Facilitator Jessica Taylor will support parents with information based on current research, provide opportunities to tinker with real tools, read stories, play ukulele and sing songs.
The pair established Educated by Nature in 2015, a social enterprise with a mission to connect families and schools with nature in order to build individual, community and environmental resilience.
Ms Bennett said their mission aligned with the City’s strategic priority for young families, as identified in the Australian Early Development Census in 2015.
“Emerging trends from the AEDC in 2015 indicate an increase in the number of children who are considered vulnerable or at risk developmentally in the areas of social competence and physical health and wellbeing,” she said.
“This means that children in our communities require support and mentoring in areas including fine and gross motor skills and social competencies including getting along with others, sharing and self-confidence.”
To enhance their knowledge base, the teachers are also travelling to the US and UK to learn about nature connection techniques.
One of the organisations they will visit, with 21 others from Australia and New Zealand, runs a mentoring program, which is a cross between meditation, birdwatching, childhood games and survival skills.
Ms Bennett’s itinerary also includes a tour of forest kindergartens in Scotland.
On August 25, she will present at the International Association of Nature Pedagogy Conference on ‘Jellyfish, Chicken Poo and Fish Guts: a sensory exploration of animal anatomy’.
Tapping Mud Pies Nature Playgroup runs fortnightly on Wednesdays from 9.30-11.30am and costs $79 for the term.
Other activities are run in Gwelup and North Beach.