The children from Clare Court soaked up the autumn sunshine during Nature Play Week by playing on a swing they co-constructed with the educators using rope.

While they have had fun playing on the swing, the children also learned important skills during the construction of it. “Designing and constructing a rope swing requires problem-solving skills as children figure out how to arrange and manipulate-loose parts and natural materials to create challenges,” says Educational Leader, Sarah. “They must consider factors such as balance, stability, and safety while planning their course, encouraging critical thinking and spatial reasoning.”

“The open-ended nature of the material supports children to use the rope and their bodies in unexpected and challenging ways,” says Sarah.

Nature Play Week is a time for children and their families to embrace the natural environment through play, relaxation, imagination and learning. At Gowrie services, nature play forms an integral part of the program from natural outdoor spaces within services to Out and About, On Country Kinder or Beach Kinder programs run by numerous sites.

Connecting with and playing in natural environments supports physical, cognitive, social and emotional learning through active play, exploration, hypothesising, creativity, self-regulation, working with others, and multi-sensorial opportunities through sight, sound, touch and smell. “Being outdoors affords children more space and the opportunity to slow down and just be, to think, to engage with others be it people, creatures, the elements, or the physical environment,” says Pedagogical Leader, Debbie.

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