What We Do
We help you to build your confidence to take your 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?’
Little Kiwis Nature Play has been inspired by the Scandinavian Forest Kindergarten and 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 in Nature
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.
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.
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.
From workshops, evening talks to the Nature Play Conference; we have got Nature Education for ECE and primary teachers covered. We help you to develop your risk management skills, practical nature skills and become more aligned and confident in your outdoor classroom.
We can help develop or provide your centre with the systems, check-lists, knowledge and confidence to set-up a kiwi style nature programme for your ECE centre or school.