Nature Play

Benefits of outdoor play for preschoolers

Cradle to Crayons Education & Care is the first Forest Learning and Bush Kindergarten in the Wide Bay region. As an official Nature Play QLD education provider, we provide regular outdoor play settings for young children. 

With our 14,500m adjoining nature block, we can provide unstructured play in the forest and help children develop healthy, active lifestyles. Our educators plan lessons outside using the resources and lists available from Nature Play QLD. 

There are many benefits to learning outside, including:

Check out all the fun our babies, toddlers and kindy kids have outdoors on our Gallery page. For more information about our forest learning initiatives, contact us today.

Bringing Back Nature Play
Our mission is to work innovatively and collaboratively with Nature Play Qld to make nature play a normal part of childhood again and a normal part of our day here at Cradle to Crayons. We believe that nature play – is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood. The key underlying feature of the Nature Play approach is that children spend long and regular periods of time in unstructured play in natural environments. Experiencing the daily and seasonal fluctuations of the weather, exploring the play affordances of natural environments, practising self-management skills and simply being in nature are essential to the Nature Play approach.
What will children gain from these experiences?
  • Experience their senses
  • Improve their physical and gross motor skills
  • Construct their own knowledge
  • Understand risk taking
  • Listening and understand expectations
  • Development of peripheral vision, awareness of their body and perception of space
  • Conversation is promoted through changing vista
  • They become responsible for their own wellbeing and gain self-control
  • They learn about the natural world in context
  • Children find their own objects in play
  • Engage in games of fantasy and creativity

Nature play is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood.

Such principles affirm that the Nature Play is more than simply taking young children outside to play in nature; the underpinning theories and pedagogy are integral to the effectiveness of programs.

These principles align with the principles and pedagogical practices underpinning Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) (DEEWR, 2009) along with  learning outcomes outlined in the EYLF.

  • Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
  • Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation
  • Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
  • Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  • Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
  • Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another
  • Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials (DEEWR, 2009)