Advik LOVES Bush Kinder because “we find lots of sticks and make things.” Lukas likes racing down the hill, while Trunks really enjoys “going into the forest and getting messy.” Meanwhile, Madison has discovered some special treasures that she’s really excited about, and Alija loves being in nature – especially when the class “see animals, like ducks swimming.”
Bush Kinder is all about exploration, creativity, curiosity, and adventures. Back to nature learning – where the great outdoors is the classroom and the toys and resources are sticks, trees, flowers, animals, insects, and glorious mud puddles.
In a world of iPads and technology, Bush Kinder provides much needed balance – children learn by engaging in the natural world around them, rather than screens and toys. During Bush Kinder, children’s learning experiences could include anything from baking the biggest, gooiest mud pie ever, to investigating a cool new bug or climbing a tree.
Bush Kinder places a big focus on child-led play. Children are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity as they choose how they want to play and what activities they want to engage with.
The Educators follow the children’s lead, giving children freedom to fully immerse themselves into their play and learning experiences, as children learn best when they are interested and engaged in their activities.
Bush Kinder strongly ties in with theorist, Reggio Emilia. The environment becomes the third educator, and children are able to construct their own learning.
At Imagine Childcare Cranbourne, the children and Educators love their weekly Bush Kinder lessons.
“We strongly believe in giving children ample opportunities to explore, test their hypothesis, and challenge their development in variety of learning spaces,” says Centre Director, Melinda Magdich.
“Bush Kinder not only lets us explore our beautiful community, but it also supports our children as they learn, take risks, engage, and use their imagination – whatever the weather.
“Our Bush Kinder classes are such a fun and engaging time for the children. The children plan the activities they’ll be doing with their Educators, then we head outdoors and explore the beauty of nature – including plants, trees, rocks, mud, and water, which invites open-ended interactions” Melinda says.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of Bush Kinder are endless. The program links to the centre’s School Readiness Program and nurtures the children’s natural sense of curiosity – which in return promotes endless language and cognitive skills development.
The outdoor learning experience also places a strong focus on promoting healthy bodies and minds, with children running, jumping, climbing, and moving their bodies – as well as getting a healthy dose of fresh air.
Sustainability and environmental awareness are important aspects of Imagine Cranbourne’s curriculum. Bush Kinder is a fantastic way of teaching children to love our world and protect it for future generations. Bush Kinder allows children to develop a deeper connection and appreciation of their natural world, as they engage in the wonderful outdoor environment and have fun with their Educators and friends.
Does climbing trees, jumping in mud puddles, and finding hidden treasures sound like something your little one would love to engage with? Enquire about enrolment at Imagine Cranbourne now on 1300 001 154 or visit our webpage here.
Our Very First Bush Kinder Lesson
by Imagine Childcare & Kindergarten Cranbourne
Today, was our very first day of Bush Kinder. We headed out to the local reserve, and we were all so excited to be out and about exploring our community! Our focus for today’s Bush Kinder visit, was exploring our surroundings and gaining an understanding of our beautiful natural environment.
The children broke up into small groups with an Educator, and then we had lots of fun completing a scavenger hunt together. We used our observational skills to scan the environment, and found lots of natural materials and objects. This sparked the children’s interests and curiosity, and led to interesting questions and conversations throughout the day.
We also collected some of the materials that we found, which encouraged conversations about only taking what we need from the land and being respectful to the environment around us. This is an important Indigenous perspective, and one that we will be exploring throughout Bush Kinder.
We walked back to the beautiful park, and enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch together. We were all very excited to explore the playground, which challenged the children’s gross motor skills. The children had fun developing their climbing abilities and having the opportunity to take informed risks within a new environment. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Kinder after a big morning of learning and exploring with our friends.