Kia ora I’m Celia,
I’m a passionate educator and I believe that every child has a right to play outside for at least 3 hours every day! I am an advocate for child led play, nature play, risky play, building resilience, and improving mental health and well-being through connection with nature.
I love what I do and I am constantly inspired by all the awesome nature educators around the country, and the world, who share this same passion with me in their mahi (work). This mahi is for the tamariki (children), our most precious taonga (treasure).
Before you get started learning how to implement nature-based play in your environment it’s important to stop and think about why you’re doing this. What are your philosophies and values. This creates a firm foundation for all the skills you’ll learn, and help bring others into your vision.
To grow your vision of bringing the benefits of child-led nature play to your tamariki, we need to keep them safe. The curriculum-based section of the work we do ensures you’re confident and clear on health and safety legislation, risk management, your role as a teacher in the outdoor space, and what nature play looks like in your environment.
Finally, we grow with an appreciation of Te Ao Maori, the hands-on skills that may be needed, ideas and inspiration for how to engage with our tamariki and how to weave this into our everyday teaching, not just when we’re outside.
THE STORY OF LITTLE KIWIS NATURE PLAY
At Little Kiwis Nature Play we know many ECE and school teachers, managers and principals want to offer the children in their care the opportunity to build resilience and wellbeing through playing and exploring nature. In order to do that, they need to feel bold and confident to guide the children safely.
The problem is they need to know where to start. And to make sure everyone’s on the same page so they can successfully bring nature into their teaching environment. They’re passionate about nature play, but lacking confidence in getting out there and doing it themselves.
At Little Kiwis Nature Play we believe that stepping into nature with your tamariki isn’t as hard as you think. You deserve to feel confident in sharing the outdoors with your children. You’re passionate about giving tamariki time in nature, don’t let your lack of confidence get in the way.
Children thrive when they experience nature and the connection it brings to their lives.
We see the incredible benefits it brings to the children we care for when they can explore the outdoors in their own way, with us as their guide. Nature is our teacher, food provider and home. We want to connect our children to this. And we want to weave nature through everything we do with them, both indoors and out.
I was that child who loved being outdoors. I loved the classes where we were active and outdoors and I thrived in those environments. All our holidays were outdoors on farms, baches, rivers, lakes, the sea, forests, camping. These holidays lead me to study outdoor education and teaching. And for 15 years I worked in the outdoors.
When I was looking for a preschool for my first child, I was shocked at the size and what was available in the outdoor space in preschools. I remembered about seeing bush kindergartens overseas and starting a trial of running nature play sessions for preschool children as holiday programmes.
Now I provide nature-based education professional training and workshops, online courses and teacher only days for teachers,
principals, managers and parents who are passionate about helping the children in their care experience what nature can bring into their lives. Our training is New Zealand-specific and we have designed our professional development specifically with the New Zealand educator and our bi-cultural origins in mind. We will help you develop the skills you need to take preschool and primary tamariki outdoors and into nature, AKA the outdoor classroom.
We run professional development workshops, online courses and personal training that inspire and motivate teachers and parents to confidently take children into the great New Zealand outdoors, set up a bush kindy or one day school instead of being stuck inside wondering where to begin.
Which means you can confidently take children outdoors to nature instead of being stuck inside wondering where to begin.
Here’s how we do it:
- Find out where to start, and get everyone on the same page
- Develop skills, learn about risk management and meet others
who share your passion
- Confidently take your children outdoors to nature and increase
their resilience and wellbeing
We are currently updating this section so watch this space!
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand