If you would like to start taking preschoolers out to play in nature - or are already doing just that - have a read of "Exploring the Forest: Wild Places in Childhood." by Anna Golden.
Anna - a teacher and atelierista at Sabot at Stony Point Preschool - writes about taking children into the neighbouring woods as a part of the daily program.
She observed that the children moved through different stages in their play in the forest:
- a period of physical and sensory exploration.
- slowing down to investigate more closely.
- building, drawing, collecting treasures.
- imaginative play scenarios.
I can see a similar development happening with the way our children play in the bush.
Many are still busy with sensory and physical explorations:
|exploring the mud on a preschool bushwalk|
|making a shelter in the bush|
Clearly, the children came to inhabit the forest - for them, the forest became part of their school and part of their lives.