Nature play- the great outdoors

We are enjoying this incredibly warm and gorgeous Autumn weather and making the most of it by taking our programs outside wherever possible.  Our three main programs; Vala (dramatic adventures), Creative Catalyst ( visual arts) and Sparks (ages 4-7) make use of the outdoors on a daily basis to enjoy all the benefits of some Nature Play.

free time under the plays
Imaginative play under the trees

By looking at the word Kindergarten and thinking about it’s original meaning, ‘garden for the children’ the close associations with young children and the great outdoors are so obvious as to be almost not worth stating.

kids playing in the sand pit
Nature play in the Sand Pit

Yet how much time and what kind of space do children have to spend in an enriching outside environment?

As across the globe we all become more sedentary and urbanised  the benefits of nature play  (activities like digging in soil, walking under trees, having contact with animals etc ) are being proven to have great benefits for all. From improving children’s physical heath, relieving stress and anxiety, improving academic performance, assisting with concentration and personal and social development. The list goes on!

We love living things. These Long Necked Turtles live in the art room

Aeoncademy believes taking the children outside to paint, to make obstacle courses, to build cardboard cities, to role play adventures and to garden are all excellent things to do.  The proof is in the kids behaviour, they love it and respond with enthusiasm to dining al fresco and outdoor group games .

kids running outside
kids playing outdoors

As our garden evolves (Working Bee- Friday 11th May 3-6!) so will the opportunities to interact with living systems; worms, plants, soil and food. As a holistic service we like to connect everything. We eat our meals together, outside when possible. Everyone washes their our dishes and collects food scraps for chickens and the worm farms. All the participants from 4 years olds to teenagers, help pack down the dining room and make space for other activities.

eating outside is great for your appetite
Dining outside

There are opportunities to water the garden, plant seeds and harvest plants that will become part of our meals. Our caterer Ruth Gaha- Morris provides us with healthy, delicious meals sourced organically and locally where ever possible. She loves to present us with incredibly coloured heritage vegetables and food grown from nearby farms to encourage children to diversify their tastes and food tolerances.