What We Do
We help you to build your confidence to take children outdoors and into nature improving mental health and overall well-being.
We do this through workshops, conferences, resources and advocating for nature play.
Once you start you will be asking ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’
How We Help
- We run conferences, workshops, webinars and online training
- We support teachers to set-up and develop nature programmes either on site or on excursions
- We help schools and centres to develop their outdoor space for outdoor play
- We give practical skills to support nature education in New Zealand
- We help you develop a strong nature pedagogy
- We advocate for nature play, risky play, child led place and connection to place and improving mental health and well being
- We Speak
Little Kiwis Nature Play has been inspired by the Scandinavian Forest Kindergarten and the Forest School movement. We have a holistic approach to the early years and believe that children are capable and competent learners.
“The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.” Richard Louv
Relationships are so important and are the foundation to everything that we do. We feel that when relationships are strong children feel more secure in themselves and when exploring the environment. We put great value on going at the child’s pace as all children are unique and will build relationships at different paces. Social skills develop through realationships.
These relationships are with people, life and the world. Allowing time for relationships to build through warmth, love and kindness in our natural environment.
Child led Free Play
We follow a child led free play philosophy which allows children to follow their play urges and explore when and how they want. Nature provides real life experiences where children can explore and play at their own pace in nature and where the child is at the centre of the experience.
We encourage children to take turns rather than share. A child can wait till another child has finished with something before they get a turn. If they want to negotiate their turn that is great. But ultimately a child should be able to choose when they are ready to move on not be told.
Risky play is an important part of a child’s development. At little kiwis Nature Play children are provided will opportunities to engage in risky play. It is wonderful to allow children to experiment with risky play in a supervised environment rather than later on in life where there might not be any guidance.
Risky play helps develop problem solving skills, risk management, self confidence and helps builds resilience. It is a wonderful skill that transfers to other areas of life.
If your child comes home with some cuts, bumps or bruises, please know they have had a wonderful day and that it is a normal part of nature play. In fact, we expect it! We call them learning injuries and there is a difference between learning injuries and life altering injuries.
We encourage children to do things for themselves. This can be frustrating for some children. The reason behind it is to help build resilience, problem solving and perseverance. If we help a child do something, then they become dependent on someone else to do that task. If they are given the opportunity to get frustrated, try and try again, problem solve; they may just figure it out all by themselves. They may not too. And that is ok. There is a saying ‘Every climb has it’s time, which need not be today.’ We support children in these feelings where needed.
We provide an environment that is peaceful, slow paced, calm and happy. Nature helps us to feel healthy, happy, purposeful and socially connected. With lives being so busy and over scheduled, being able to find time to support our Manaatua (well-being) is treasured.
When we spend regular time in nature we learn to love it and when we love it we care for it and when we care for it we protect it. Being guardians of the land naturally evolves when we spend regular time in nature getting to know our local space.
Work With Us
We offer practical workshops that build confidence and help support teachers who are wanting to use the outdoor classroom more, or for those who are setting up a bush kindy or one day school.