Directory of Nature Education Programmes in NZ

Below you will find a list of early childhood centres, primary schools and nature education providers who run nature programmes either as excursions, full days or full time. It is divided into regions so you can find what nature programmes are happening in your area!

Want to submit get your programme on the list? OR want to update yours?


Ngā Tamariki o Te Tai Ao

Location: Northland

Ages: 0-4

Parents and caregivers meet weekly, with their tamariki during term time. Children play freely in nature with others in their own age while their parents observe. Playing in te tai ai (the natural world) is a crucial part of children’s development. We support one another to provide this experience for babies and toddlers.



Back2Nature Childcare

Location: Whangarei

Ages: 0-6 ECE and 5-13 Oscar children in a homebased setting

We are a homebased childcare service and have one organised large group nature day where all of the educators and children come together, and one Kapa Haka practice each week. We have a strong nature philosophy where individual educators also take the children out into nature through the rest of the week.



Facebook: Back2Nature Childcare

North Kidz

Location: Throughout Northland

Ages: Birth to 6 Years

We are a home-based childcare and education service with educators throughout Northland. With a philosophy that embraces nature play. We have planned nature playgroups on a weekly basis utilising our local wild and wide open spaces to support each child’s emerging strengths and interests.



Facebook: NorthKidzHomebased

Little Moments Forest Kindergarten

Location: Bay of Plenty, Whakatane

Ages: Birth to 6 Years

We run a 4-hour forest kindergarten session on a Tues and Fri morning on a sustainable farm, where the children experience a large private free play environment enriched with chickens, ducks, worm farms, vegetable gardening and so much more.




Open Spaces Preschool

Location: Northland

Ages: 3m – 6 yrs

Nature-based preschool with large wild play spaces and weekly trips into our ‘Wild Woods’. We follow a play-based emergent curriculum where nature is our primary provocation – the bush feeds our curriculum. Come visit and play!



Facebook: Open Spaces Preschool

Safe Outdoors NZ – Nature’sCool

Location:Glenbervie / Whangarei

Ages: 5+ years

Nature’sCool is a ‘one day’ Nature based educational programme which runs every Wednesday from a rural setting in Glenbervie / Whangarei. Our programme is ‘free play’ based with participants spending the day at the ‘Bush base’, interacting with eels / koura, swinging, building huts, working with clay found on site and exploring the bush etc.

We also run a school holiday programme under the same name.

Safe Outdoors NZ also offer professional development in the Nature play / Outdoor Education realm.




Facebook: Safe Outdoors NZ Ltd

Tuhura Wilderness

Location: Bay of Plenty

Ages: 5-16

Our tamariki learn and play in a safe and supported environment of New Zealand native bush – there are skinks and piwakawaka, and rocks and trees and leaves, mud and streams – and endless opportunities to explore the world around us. 

Our tamariki choose how to spend their day – building huts, damming a stream, making gourmet mud cakes… whilst problem solving, exploring, working together, strengthening their resilience skills, and developing a sense of confidence in the forest.

Our kaitiaki support our tamariki to be safe and well through free play – providing an opportunity to empower our young people to make decisions, grow together, lead their peers, encounter challenges, find resolutions, experience mistakes, work through their emotions and feelings, and love the world around them.

We respect our environment and those around us. We are resourceful, considerate, tread lightly, and give back to our earth. We treat each other with kindness and compassion and understanding and embrace acceptance.

Tūhura Wilderness provides an opportunity for the tamariki of the wider Rangitaiki Plains/Eastern Bay of Plenty to ditch the stresses, demands, expectations and high-pace of our modern world.






Wild West Organics – Farm Escape Adventure

Location: Waimauku, Auckland

Ages: 4-12 years

We are a certified organic sheep, beef and free range pig farm. We run alternate week afternoon sessions on a Tuesday fro 1.30-4.30pm called FarmEscape Adventures. Parents attend with their children similar to playcentre. We have free play and activities in our four playscapes, farmyard, bamboo jungle, paddocks and bush. $125 for 5 sessions.



Eden homebased childcare

Location: Auckland

Ages: Birth to 6 years

We run 2 nature play sessions weekly, these are a free community event. We vary the location so people need to follow us on Facebook for details.We also run a weekly music in the parks at Jutland park, also a free community event.



Facebook: Eden homebased childcare


Ako Space

Location: Auckland

Ages: 5-13 years

A primary school offering a play-based and child-led approach with frequent all day excursions to local bush areas. Our values include play, curiosity, creativity, respect, community and seeing the whole child. We are based in Northcote.


Facebook: Ako Space

Conscious Kids

Location: Auckland and Hamilton

Ages: 5-12 years

We run 100% nature based school holiday programmes, one day programmes during term time, PD for nature based educators, youth development programmes, community events, and programmes in schools.




Facebook: Consciouskids

Country Bears Nature Childcare

Location: Kumeu, Auckland

Ages: 3 mths – 6 yrs

We are a full-time licenced preschool that provides our own outdoor programme within the bounds of our property and neighbours (rural location). Children and teachers have access to bush and paddocks at any time of the day.

We are nestled amongst acres of our very own trees & paddocks, providing your child with an endless route for exploration and the opportunity to foster a positive relationship with the earth and a love towards healthy living.
Our emphasis is on nature as a vast and wonderful classroom, encouraging empathy and respect to all living things through relationships and connections to Papatūānuku (Mother Earth).




Play and Learn Nature Kindergarten Long Bay

Location: Auckland City

Ages: 3-6 years

Fully nature immersed play- and exploration-based early childhood education programme (forest school). Running Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-15:00 in Cornwall Park, Auckland City.

Jan Beatson, founder of Play and Learn has been running nature programmes in New Zealand for over 20 years. Our qualified teachers, nature pedagogues and dedicated staff take part in extensive professional development to continue to be at cutting edge on early childhood education, brain development and nature pedagogy.





Ann Langis Play

Location: Auckland

Ages: 3-12 years

We work with centres, schools, and kura to help them activate nature play and loose parts play on site or in local public spaces. This could look like our team running sessions, PD for kaiako, or consulting services such as site assessments.  






Outdoor Adventure Kids Silverdale

Location: Silverdale, Auckland

Ages: 2-6yrs

I am a home based early childhood educator with a difference, I focus on outdoor learning. My home is our base, and we head out on daily outdoor adventures to local beaches and regional parks.

Outdoor Adventure Days – Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. open 8am-4pm.




Kumeu Childcare

Location: Auckland

Ages: 3 months-6 years

Kumeu Childcare is a preschool education or child care center. We provide the best child daycare services in Auckland. Our goal is to get more children off on the right foot, and our mission is to deliver a perfect learning environment for your child. We let parents know that we take pride in using the best teaching strategies that have been designed for each age group.





The Forest School | Te Rongotaioa

Location: Auckland

Ages: 4-14 years

The Forest School is a small, private, community space that provides children with the experience of schooling in a 100% outdoor classroom environment. We connect children with nature in bush, shoreline, island and ocean environments.

The Forest School provides learning opportunities to young people, that are engaging and meaningful. We are facilitators of learning through play and hands-on experience.

Students at The Forest School attend once per week, regularly every week, and their other school on the other four days. Attendance is always on the same day since belonging and friendships are an integral part of our school culture.



Facebook: TheForestSchoolNZ


022 468 6184

Muddy Kids NZ

Location: Auckland, Long Bay

Ages: 5-14 years

Nature based , child lead, free play  one day programmes, weekend camps and events. Where education is an adventure.
We support and guide your child’s emotional and physical well being and development through the beauty of freeplay.




Wild West Organics

Location: Waimauku, Auckland

Ages: 0 – 6 years

We run a 2-hour playgroup fortnightly on our certified organic farm for pre-schoolers to come with their caregivers. The main activity is adventuring about the farm and discovering fallen trees, pockets of bush, streams and also we have a large bamboo stand. We also get to know some of the animals, goats, chickens, pigs, cows and sheep.


Facebook: Wild West Organics 

Farm Friends

Location: Auckland

Ages: 2-6 years old

We are a licenced Early Childhood centre located in 10 acres of Farm land which our tamariki explore daily



Facebook #Farmfriendsnz

Other Contact DetailsRhiannon.Farmfriends@gmail.com

Birkenhead Playcentre

Location: Auckland

Ages: 0-6yrs

We run a 2.5hr one day a week nature session from our centre.


Facebook: Birkenhead Playcentre

Loving Care Kindergarten

Location: Auckland

Ages: 2-5 years

We are a community based kindergarten in Henderson and our four-year-olds take turns to go on a 2 hour nature walk with two teachers weekly to explore the tracks nearby. They learn about road safety, making discoveries, problem solving, independence, responsibility, confidence and a love for nature. We have whole centre nature walks during the term break too.




Play and Learn Nature Kindergarten North Shore

Location: North Shore, Auckland

Ages: 3-6 years

Fully nature immersed play- and exploration-based early childhood education programme (forest school). Running full time, Monday to Friday 9:00-15:00 in Long Bay Regional Park, Auckland North Shore.

Jan Beatson, founder of Play and Learn has been running nature programmes in New Zealand for over 20 years. Our qualified teachers, nature pedagogues and dedicated staff take part in extensive professional development to continue to be at cutting edge on early childhood education, brain development and nature pedagogy.





Nature Playgroup Cornwall Park by Play and Learn

Location: Cornwall Park, Auckland City

Ages: 0-6  years

For children to explore nature and movement, for parents to connect with like-minded. Every Tuesday at Cornwall Park 10:00-12:00. This playgroup is facilitated by a Play and Learn nature pedagogue and early childhood educator.



Nature’s Den Forest & Farm School

Location: Auckland

Ages: 4-13 years

Nature’s Den forest & farm school programme is from 9am-3pm on Thursdays (Brookby) and Fridays (Pukekohe) during the school term.
Both programmes are situated on beautiful farms that have so much to offer.

Children spend the entire day outdoors, surrounded in nature. They learn through hands on experiences such as discovering, exploring, making huts, protecting the ecosystem and cooking on camp fires.

We have a curriculum, however we are very much about child-led learning.
We welcome children who attend ECE, School, home-school and un-schooling.




Otimai Nature Play

Location: Oratia, Auckland

Ages: 0 to 8 or older

Our group is for children to have regular experiences; child led free play in nature in all weather. There are bush walks, a confidence course, a fairy circle, stream and animals on a bordering lifestyle block. We meet every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm at Otimai Girl Guide Camp in Oratia.



Clara 0211821043 OR Marie 0210654572

Freedom Kids Nature Play

Location: Auckland Cornwall Park and Long Bay Regional Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00-14:00

Ages:4-7 years

Nature sessions in Auckland Cornwall Park and Long Bay Regional Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-14:00. 

Run by an experienced forest school teacher from Germany.

Freedom Kids Nature Play sessions provide a free-play environment in the outdoors that is nurturing, loving and respectful in a small group of five to seven children.




Little Ferns

Location: Auckland

Ages: Under 5s and Early Primary

I deliver fun, interactive nature-themed discovery sessions to ECEs and Primary schools. Popular programmes include: Wonderful Worms, Marvellous Minibeasts and Digging up Dinosaurs.

I can provide tailor-made resources, activity ideas and sustainability advice.




Wildly Curious

Location: Auckland, Matakana

Ages: 4-12 years

Wildly Curious team of qualified teachers and experienced educators have carefully developed targeted sessions that utilise the local community and environment to teach concepts in art, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum.

Known as place-based and play education, Wildly Curious’ curriculum emphasises hands-on, real-world learning experiences. This approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing young people.

We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.00am – 2.30pm for children between the ages of 4 – 12.





Old MacDonalds farm and bush school

Location: Hamilton

Ages: 4.5-12years

We run a one day a week out of school nature programme near HAMILTON for primary aged children in collaboration with their regular school to enhance the child’s outcomes. We believe this form of education is grounding and needed for many and hope one day soon to see it funded





Newstead Country Preschool 

Location: Newstead, Hamilton

Ages: 6mth-6yrs

We are a small family owned childcare centre set on 15acres with a mix farmland, bush and gully which we explore daily.




Kids Greening Taupō

Location: Taupō    

Ages: 3-18 year olds

We are a not for profit organisation supporting the restoration work of Greening Taupō.  We work with schools and ECE centres to connect children to nature and teach environmental education through authentic contexts. We also have a student leadership team (age 9-18), run community events, and organise teacher professional development opportunities.

We have hundreds of free activities and resources on our website, perfect for parents, teachers, ECE centres, community groups etc.





The Forest ECE

Location: Cambridge       

Ages: 3-6 year olds

Set in Cambridge, in 10 acres of native bush, with 60 acres of adjoining forest reserve, we spend our days learning through play in raw nature.
Inspired by the Scandavian approach to learning, we do this through our own local curriculum.  We have a ‘centre base’, but most of our time is exploring and playing in the forest.

“Let’s raise tree children – wild spirits with strong roots, who bend but don’t break – children whose arms make shelters and hearts are home to little birds singing out for the sheer joy of it.” Nicolette Sowder.





Education Angels in home child care

Location: Hamilton

Ages: 3-5 year olds

We run a 2 hour fortnightly forest school at Paranga Park and the Taitua Arboretum in Hamilton. Come and join us in the wonderment and awe of nature’s discovery. Bring morning tea , gum boots, woolly hat and something warm to wear on those cold mornings. For the warmer days plenty of water, sun hat and sunscreen.






Waikino School

Location: Waikino

Ages: 3 – 12years

We are a mainstream primary school and we offer forest school sessions weekly to our enrolled students.  We also offer a one day forest school where students who are not enrolled with us can come and spend the day learning and being in te ngāhere. These students can be enrolled in another school and attend with us one day per week or not be enrolled in school at all. We work with the Waikino Playgroup to offer Bush Kindy sessions and also with Kiwikidz Educare Waihi who bring their older students up one day per week.




07 8637733  

Te Pahu Preschool

Location: Waikato 

Ages: 4-6 year olds

Every term, ten 4 year old’s from Te Pahu Preschool are given the amazing opportunity to enjoy our Forest Schooling programme.
The Forest Schooling excursions take place on a Friday between 9.15 – 12 pm.
These occur at a number of different sites including but not limited to Kaniwhaniwha Reserve, Mount Pironiga and Yarndleys Bush.
Accompanied by 2 teachers and 1 parent helper, the children have adventures including going for walks, building dens, making swings, all while connecting with the natural environment.
Forest schooling is a fabulous learning opportunity that all children aspire too.



Phone: 07 825 9908


 Mount Plunket Preschool

Location: Mount Maunganui

Ages: 3-5years

We explore our local Maunga and beach once a fortnight as well as take our food scraps to chickens that live down the road once a month. The trips to the beach and Maunga are for three hours


Facebook: Mount Plunket Preschool

The Children’s Garden Childcare

Location: Tauranga

Ages: 3.5 to 5 years old

We run bush kindy twice a week for 2 hours in the local reserve we’re children can explore their local environment. They take morning tea and are clothed appropriately for the weather conditions. They are able to run, jump in puddles, roll down hills, build huts, swing and climb on trees, pretend to fish in streams under close supervision, we have a robust RAMS in place to ensure their safety at all times. We are very fortunate to have a very large bush reserve surrounding our centre which makes it very accessible and easy to manage.



Facebook: The Children’s Garden


Matahui School

Location:Western Bay of Plenty

Ages: Years 1-4 (Age: 5-8)

Matahui School is a small independent primary school located in the Western Bay of Plenty. The Guardians of the Forest Programme is available once a week to all Matahui students in the junior school. Students who attend the forest programme spend the day immersed in nature where they play; learn; create; find magic in the forest; explore land and water and become guardians of the natural environment.





Tuhura Wilderness

Location: Bay of Plenty

Ages: 5-16

Our tamariki learn and play in a safe and supported environment of New Zealand native bush – there are skinks and piwakawaka, and rocks and trees and leaves, mud and streams – and endless opportunities to explore the world around us. 

Our tamariki choose how to spend their day – building huts, damming a stream, making gourmet mud cakes… whilst problem solving, exploring, working together, strengthening their resilience skills, and developing a sense of confidence in the forest.

Our kaitiaki support our tamariki to be safe and well through free play – providing an opportunity to empower our young people to make decisions, grow together, lead their peers, encounter challenges, find resolutions, experience mistakes, work through their emotions and feelings, and love the world around them.

We respect our environment and those around us. We are resourceful, considerate, tread lightly, and give back to our earth. We treat each other with kindness and compassion and understanding and embrace acceptance.

Tūhura Wilderness provides an opportunity for the tamariki of the wider Rangitaiki Plains/Eastern Bay of Plenty to ditch the stresses, demands, expectations and high-pace of our modern world.





Puaka Bush School

Location: Eastern BOP

Ages: 5-12 years

One day school to compliment 4 days normal schooling starting in 2019 based in original native bush. Developing children who are Play Based learners; Unique individuals; Adapadable; Kaitiaki o te Taiao; Achievers (PUAKA).



Nature Kids from Nature Library NZ

Location: Tauranga / Mt Maunganui

Ages: 6-12 years

Nature Kids is small group Weekday and School Holiday sessions for kids who are keen to explore, create and learn in nature.
Our days blend focused learning experiences and free nature play all while exploring our beautiful backyard in Mount Maunganui and Tauranga.
School Holiday and Weekday sessions run every holiday and each term. Our days usually run from 9 am to 3 pm. For more info on dates and times:www.naturelibrary.co.nz


Kathy – Phone 027 842 5645




Kuaotunu Steiner Kindergarten

Location: Kuaotunu, Coromandel

Ages: 4-6 years

We run a two day a week program for children who are ready for a day in the forests. We have a fire in the winter and play, explore and enjoy the local forests and beach. Often we visit the local bird rescue or community gardens. We have two teachers and ten children with hours 9am-1.30pm or 3pm. We spend a lot of our time trapping pests and learning about papatuanuku and how we can look after our earth.


Asha Main: asharani.main@gmail.com;



Nature Play Gizzy, Playgroup

Location: Gisborne

Ages: 0-5years

We are a casual playgroup that meets Thursday mornings from 9.30, at the local beach, bush or park. The focus is Parents following the lead of their children, exploring the outdoors at their own pace. We dress to allow for exploration in all types of weather. We range in ages from babies in front packs to 5 year olds, the majority are around 2/3 years old. Check our Facebook page for details. All are welcome to join us!


Facebook: Nature Play Gizzy

Pohutukawa Kids Oscar (out of school care and recreation programme)

Location: Gisborne

Ages: 5-13

We run after school care and school holiday programmes with a focus around getting tamariki back outside and in nature.

Contacts: http://pkgis.nz/pk-oscar.html

Facebook: Pohutukawakidsoscar



Ashridge Road Playcentre

Location: Hawkes Bay

Ages: 0-6

We run an outdoor Papatuanuku session on Thursday mornings through our Playcentre. It’s a fabulous morning of imaginary play, physical challenges and currently lots of games of hide and seek. We follow Playcentre philosophy, so the play is child-led and our location moves around to follow their interests.


Facebook: Ashridge Road Playcentre


The DEN: Discovery Education in Nature

Location: Hawkes Bay

Ages: 2 to 6 years

The DEN offers discovery education for children aged 2-6 years in a home-like, purpose-built environment set on two acres of natural, outdoor play space.






Harriette Vine Kindergarten

Location: Whanganui

Ages: 4 years old

Harriette Vine runs a once a week Nature Discovery excursion as part of the Kindergartens curriculum. We have access for a 5-acre forest and farm block where the children get to discover and explore. Teachers follow the forest-schools philosophy of child guided self-learning based on their interests.



Facebook: Harriette Vine Kindergarten

The ECO School

Location: Whanganui

Ages: 0-13

We run: Holiday programs for school aged children; Nature play program for schools and ECE centres to come to our site on excursions; A weekly playgroup for children and caregivers during term time. We are based on a 5ha farm in Whanganui.




022 190 7323


Seedlings Nature Playgroup

Location: Wellington

Ages: 0-3 year olds

We are a free nature playgroup based in Johnsonville Wellington. At this stage we are only for our littlest nature explorers aged 0-3 years old. We meet biweekly rain or shine. New people always welcome.


Facebook: Seedlings Nature Playgroup North Wellington


Nature School NZ Trust

Location: Wellington

Ages: 4-12

Nature School NZ Trust are the original Nature School in Wellington. For over 4 years we have been offering our child-led free play nature programmes.  Many of our ākonga have been with us for many years, as we focus on relationships with each other and with nature, while learning and having fun!

We run our Nature School programme at Battle Hill in Pauatahanui; Mondays and Wednesdays, and at Kaitawa Reserve, Paraparaumu; on Fridays weekly. We also offer our popular Bush Sprouts holiday programme each School holidays. As well as this we have set up and run our Bush Sprouts in Schools programme in 16 Schools and Kindergartens throughout Porirua and Wellington.



Facebook: natureschoolnz

Instagram: natureschoolnz


Pohutukawa Early Learning Centre

Location: Masterton-Wairarapa

Ages: 2-5 years

Pohutukawa is a mixed aged center that provides a daily ‘forest school’ based programme as part of it’s curriculum (roughly 2 hours long). Our center backs onto a local recreational river trail which is utilised for nature based exploration.



(06) 3771000

Tai Tamariki kindergarten

Location: Wellington

Ages: 3-5years (ish)

We take the 10 oldest Tamariki up into Mt Victoria for half a day fortnightly. We go in all weather unless there’s a weather warning. The tamariki walk up the hill to Mt Vic carrying individual packs with their kai, water and extra warm clothing. We follow the children’s curiosities and each trip is different!


Facebook: Tai Tamariki kindergarten

Wairarapa Forest School

Location: Wellington

Ages: All ages

Every 2nd Monday of the month we come together for the day under the Kahikatea trees on the edge of the Tartarua Forest Park. EC and School groups come for day outings, or people can request to organise an outing themselves. We retired 230 acres 10 years ago which is available for walks, recreation and other Forest School related activities.



Facebook: Wairarapa Forest School

Everyone Out Nature School

Location: Wellington

Ages: 5 -12 years

Developing kiwi kids through play, learning and nature. Everyone Out is a not for profit social enterprise founded to help kiwi kids develop through play, learning and nature. We run events for families, holiday programmes and Nature School in Wellington.

Our Nature School operates as a one-day school in Crofton Downs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in Island Bay on Wednesdays during term time. It’s an education programme where learning happens through self-directed play in nature.







Muddy Toes Playgroup

Location: Wellington

Ages: 0-5 years

Muddy Toes is an outdoor, excursion based playgroup with a focus on child-led free play in nature. Western/Northern suburbs – Thursday mornings from 9.30am. Details posted on our Facebook site weekly! All welcome!




Nature Kids Motueka

Location: Motueka

Ages: 2-6

Nature Kids is open from 8.45 to 3.15 Monday to Friday in school terms only. With extensive grounds, play based philosophy and no restrictions to outside we encourage natural inquisitiveness and help develop a strong commitment to kaitiakitanga among our tamariki. Our whole days are a natural excursion into nature to discover Papatuanuku. We have a passion for sustainabliity and te ao Māori and our team work collaboratively to achieve a high standard in this regard.
Nature Kids encourages child directed learning in a peaceful, natural environment, reflecting the holistic way children learn and grow and  assisted by well-informed teachers who love what they are doing, and are encouraged to nurture their own desires to develop and improve their professional standards.






The Children’s Garden

Location: Nelson

Ages: 0-6 years

We have a beautifully restored home which been made into heart filled, nature focused, child led play space. We are placed on a quarter acre section surrounded by climbing trees, fruit trees and secret gardens. We spend our day outdoors every day, no matter what the weather is. Children are able to eat, play and sleep in the outdoors. In addition to this, we take a group at least one day every week for up to 3hours into local nature reserves, parks, and to our local beach. For more information, check out our Facebook page or visit us: The Children’s Garden
390 Main Road Stoke
03 5530665



Clifton Terrace School

Location: Nelson

Ages: 5 – 11years

We are currently running a forest school programme in our junior school with small groups of children.


888 Atawai Drive, Nelson


Teal Valley Forest Kindergarten Programme

Location: Nelson

Ages: 3-6year olds

Run as a full day nature excursion for local Nelson kindergartens/ECE centres/schools. Through these ongoing experiences tamariki will strengthen their lifelong connection with Papatūanuku and develop learning dispositions including developing an inquisitive mind, a strong body and sound social and emotional skills. Teal Valley Forest Kindergarten Programme, is an evolving concept, grounded in the fundamental idea that children learn more about who they are, what makes them excited, motivated and feel more connected, when they are in the natural environment. Our role as adults is not to provide the answers but to share in the children’s sense of wonder and awe. The programme provides opportunities for tamariki to build       resilience and confidence in themselves to take supported risks in order to grow their abilities. Children are taught how to think, not what to think and are encouraged to be imaginative and inquisitive individuals who are great at problem solving and have sound social and emotional skills.





Little Kiwis Nature Play – Bush Kindy

Location: Christchurch

Ages: 18months-6years

We run 2-3 hour bush kindy nature sessions. Parents join their children for a morning of child-led free play in nature. We use tools, have fires in winter, climb trees, make mud slides, search for bugs and more. Our sessions are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

We are trying to change the legislation in New Zealand to enable full time bush kindergartens. This will enable us to set up a drop off nature kindergarten programme.




Organic Kids

Location: Canterbury

Ages: 0-5years

We run fortnightly forest education programmes in Selwyn, Oxford and Christchurch for our families and home educators to attend. We follow the children’s innate urge to explore, get dirty and splash in puddles!



Facebook: Organic Kids

021 1134 798

Bush Farm School

Location: Orton Bradley Park

Ages: 5-12 years

We offer a one-day school for 5-12 years olds that complement the NZ Curriculum outside in the Bush and on the Farm.  Our sessions are a mixture of free-play, a structured (60 -90min) learning cycle, sensory activities and eco-literacy games. We also offer a 2-hour session, once a week for pre-schoolers (2.5 – 5years) with their caregivers.  Children are free to run, climb, build huts and play





Akaroa Playcentre

Location: Akaroa

Ages: 0-5 years

We run one of our regular 3-hour playcentre sessions on a Tuesday morning as am excursion session, visiting different local places around Banks Peninsula.



Rata Kindergarten

Location: Temuka South Canterbury

Ages: Preschoolers

Once a week the kindergarten ventures to the park next door. At the park the children explore a small pine plantation they have names as their forest / ngahere. On arrival the children bless the forest they unpack the trolley which contains clipboards ropes magnifying glass old sheets. Tree climbing is a part of the adventure.

Being a small kindergarten allows us to make these outings on a regular weekly.



Facebook: South Canterbury Kindergarten Association

 Family Tree Home-based Education and Care

Location: Rangiora

Ages: 0-5 years

We are operating at a wonderful park once a fortnight in Rangiora,North Canterbury for approx 1.5-2hours. We meet at the park,and the children lead the way exploring through native bush, over muddy swampy areas, under brushwood,along paths,across nature spring fed wee streams and under big canopy native trees,stopping to look at whatever they are curious about or captures their attention.



Facebook: Family Tree Homebased


Kidditech Early Learning Centre

Location: Christchurch

Ages: Preschoolers 2-6 years

Being close to nature is important to us, we involve the children in nature walks in our community and composting, gardening and harvesting within our centre environment. We encourage and regularly explore caring for our environment and all living creatures big and small. We embrace natural play spaces where children can play and be close to nature in all kids of weather.




He Manu Hou ECE

Location: Timaru


He Manu Hou ECE is set by the sea in Timaru and we are in a wonderful natural setting. We opened in July 2018, our centre is on the grounds of Te Aitarakihi Multicultural Centre surrounded by native trees. We go on spontaneous excursions on a regular basis, as our enrolment form covers us to go up to 1 km from the centre. We also have whanau who support our learning with weaving, gardening and waiata. We have a rich language environment and you will hear the teachers speaking in English and Te Reo Maori.

If you are interested to visit give us a call to arrange a time and follow our centre on Facebook He Manu Hou Trust. Mauri ora!


Facebook: He Manu Hou Trust

03 6831717


Otago University Childcare Association – Te Pa

Location: Dunedin

Ages: 4year olds

Four-year olds attend a Bush programme for one morning a week.

They walk to the Bush area, explore, observe, play in the bush and often have a campfire.

Contact Details:



Waitaki Community Gardens

Location: North Otago

Ages: 3-18 years

We run educational workshops and classes for children through holiday programmes and visiting school groups. We teach children ages 3-18 a range of topics including compost, bees & pollination, edible gardening, the scientific method, soil nutrition, germination, and photosynthesis.

To book a class or workshop on site at Waitaki Community Gardens or with one of our facilitators on-site at your school, please contact our Manager Sophia at 021 0448 209.




mobile 0210.448.209

Queenstown Forest School

Location: Queenstown

Ages: 5-12

Queenstown Forest School complements your child’s academic curriculum with full days of nature immersion, experiential learning and compassion & empathy & kindness. Where?@Queenstown’s magnificent natural playground incl. its lakes, rivers, mountains, forest. Daily: 9.30am – 3pm – for our local school children and visiting individuals and groups.




Gems Educational Childcare – Farm School

Location: Queenstown

Ages: 4 year olds

Gems Farm School caters for 4 year olds from the two nearby Gems Educational Childcare centres. Tamarki visit the fully operational farm once a fortnight to explore the natural environment, help with farm jobs and learn how to care for animals. Our special annual events include: The Farm School Mountain Climb, Giant slip and slide & Matariki Night Farm School, where the children and families do a torchlit hikoi around the farm at night.



03 4282862


Southern Stars Early Learning Centre

Location: Te Anau

Ages: 4 year olds

Our outdoor programme is called Southern Adventures. At present we run twice a week for a group of 4 eligible (minimum number of hours at Southern Stars required) children plus two teachers. Each day is a different group so at times there may be up to 10 children that take turns to go on Southern Adventures. We are able to drive to the Kepler Track in 5-10 minutes so often we go on the Kepler Track for a couple of hours, explore the nearby community, or visit a local farm. The group usually decides on the destination. With such a small group and able to travel by vehicle we are able to go to a variety of places.

We spend a couple of hours away from the Centre. The changes in knowledge, confidence and leadership skills are very noticeable after they have been Southern Adventurers. And it encourages the children to take their whanau on their own ‘Adventures’. This environmental and nature knowledge is then built on as they continue their learning journeys through the local primary schools and Fiordland College as most of the learning centres in Te Anau are part of the Kids Restore the Kepler Programme.



In Nature Education

Location: Motueka, Tasman Bay

Ages: 4-14yrs

We run nature sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm out of the Riverside Community in Lower Moutere.

The vision of In Nature Education is to foster the child’s lifelong connection to the natural world and themselves. We strongly believe that free-play is essential for mental, physical and emotional health, wellbeing and development. We want to promote independence, confidence, resilience, self-awareness and respect for our whenua as well as for ourselves and others by learning and playing in nature. This can be achieved through bushcraft, environmental conservation, climbing trees, building huts, scrambling hills, looking for bugs, and letting the children decide where to engage and when.






Porse in home childcare

Location: Invercargill

Ages: 0-5

We run a 2-3hr nature session every fortnight.


Facebook: Porse Invercargill

Blue Duck Early Learning Centre

Location: Southland

Ages: 3-5

Tuhura Tui (Maori for exploring and Tui is the name of our pre-school room). We take 5 children out for 2 hours 3x a week and 2 teachers. We explore the amazing area around Lake Te Anau.



Facebook: Blue Duck Early Learning Centre Te Anau

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This