EC1073 Outdoor and Nature Play
For children, play is learning. There is no better space for kids to learn than the outdoors, and there is no better play resource than nature. Children can be taught in their early years to play outdoors. Children reap great benefits as they grow a connection and appreciation of the natural environment. In the structured, busy and technologically-advanced world they live in, the role of outdoor play that is experienced as children is being forgotten. This course will nurture the educators awareness for the importance of nature play as any activity that gets children active or thinking actively outdoors, with the end goal of building skills and ability to play without the need for parental or adult control. This can be in any setting, so long as it’s outdoors. It supports children being left to their own devices while caregivers supervise from a distance. Adults can also actively participate in nature play, however, through child-led play activities. Nature play significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more. It encourages the joy of movement; it nurtures wild imaginations, experimentation, friendships, social connections and behaviour.