At Yarralea Children’s Centre we believe that regular unstructured play in nature is essential to children’s health and development. Yarralea’s Bush Kinder has been running since its inception in 2013 and is held at our Darebin Parklands site. The program acknowledges and respects that Australian indigenous children have been learning in nature for thousands and thousands of years, and connects us to our country and local community.
The Bush Kinder program enables the children to spend regular, long periods of time in a natural environment. There is mounting evidence of decreasing opportunities for children to play outdoors in nature and this links to concerns about children's health and well being.
There are well documented diverse benefits of nature play including increased confidence, motivation, imagination and concentration; increased social, physical and language skills; deeper conceptual understandings; an authentic connection and respect for the natural environment and sustainability; and enhanced family and community attitudes towards natural play spaces and risk management.