Bush Kindy playgroup

What is bush Kindy

Inspired by the Scandinavian Forest Kindergarten movement, bush kindy is a holistic approach to early childhood education believing children are capable and competent learners. It provides real life experiences exploring and playing in nature where the child is at the centre of the environment. A place they build resilience, develop social skills, fine and gross motor skills and develop independence in a supportive environment.

Our Bush Kindy is currently run as a playgroup due to the existing legislation in NZ (which we are trying to change) that prevents us running a 100% outdoor bush kindy. So we have set this up in the meantime. In saying that we have also begun to really appreciate how special this time is for families. It’s so nice to be present with your children and enjoy the magic of childhood in nature! 


Research has shown there are many benefits to connecting our tamariki with nature.  Doing so can support multiple development domains such as intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.  From problem solving, enhancing cognitive abilities and improving academic performance.   It also increases physical activity, can improve nutrition, eyesight, social relations, self-discipline and reduce stress. Daily contact with nature can show many positive impacts.

Little kiwis philosophy

The philosophy behind the sessions is around child led play in nature, with nature and through nature.  This means that children choose what they want to do and how they want to do it.  The main focus is about using the natural environment and exploring it at their own pace.  There are opportunities to explore, climb trees, forage (seasonal), get dirty, play on the forts and tree swings…and much more! To find out more about our philosophy head to our What We Do page. 


Sessions run on a Tuesday and Thursday 8 weeks of the term between 9.45 am – 11.45am or 9.30am – 11.30am in summer.  We start with a karakia, welcome / introductions and go over the days risk management and opportunities for play.  Children then go off and choose what play that want to do. On some sessions there is opportunity for families to help out with maintenance/gardening on site if they choose to. We have a rolling kai and there is a nice place in the sun where parents often sit with their tamariki.  We are a community when it comes to looking after the children, we run with the ‘It takes a village’ ethos.  At the end of the sessions we start packing up around 11.30 and then we have a quick check in with the tamariki to reflect on the days adventure and say farewell till next time.


Costs:  $46 per child over 18 months per term.  Younger siblings (under 18 months) come along and enjoy it for free. 

Where: Corner York Street and Hassals Lane, Opawa/St Martins.

What to Bring: Winter: Warm clothes, gumboots maybe required on the wetter days / dew days, spare clothes are a bonus, picnic blanket to sit in the sun, morning kai. Summer: Hats, sunscreen, shoes or sandles, clothes that protect from the sun and layers if it’s a cool day, morning kai. Insect repellent can be helpful in summer.

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