Breaking Down Common Misconceptions about our Nature Playgroups

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Manage episode 272017554 series 2786419
By Vicci Oliver and Nicki Farrell, Vicci Oliver, and Nicki Farrell. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Episode Description

In this episode, we’re talking about nature playgroups, why we’re so passionate about them, and some of the misconceptions people might have when they go to attend one. So, wondering if nature playgroup is for you? In this episode, we answer that question.

👉 Discussion Points

  1. What is nature playgroup?
    Aimed at 0-3, immersed nature, not skill building. Includes seasonal song time, seasonal story time, seasonal craft or activity and a focus on free play with friends in nature.

2. Our playgroups are centred around what children need, not what parents want

  • This means we provide minimal activities for many reasons: because our focus is on free play in nature, because children at this age would rather cut a ball of wool into a million pieces than use it to craft with, because children don’t need any resources to learn and entertain themselves, because we want children to use this time to socialise and because providing less resources provides opportunities to develop essential social skills such as sharing and there are less fights over resources. But more importantly, our nature playgroups are all about free time and exploring nature in a supportive environment with friends.
  • Many crafts are too complex/not developmentally appropriate for this age group, they do not have the dexterity to manage many tools. We provide small achievable tasks on purpose so that children feel a sense of achievement when they are able to achieve them. When an adult has to finish a craft for a child, it can perpetuate a sense of failure, rather than independence.
  • Similarly, we prefer open-ended resources so that children use their creativity and imagination rather than step-by-step activities that end in replicas of the same end product. We focus on the process (of learning) over the end product.
  • If the set-up/pack-up of a craft activity outweighs the time/value/learning of the activity, then it’s not worth it.

3. We can do this ourselves (go the creek/beach) for free

  • Absolutely! You can! Anyone can. We 100% encourage this. One of the reasons we offer playgroup is in the hopes that parents will meet other like-minded parents and feel empowered enough to get together and go out in nature for free.
  • Often activities aren’t valued if they’re free and often people need to pay for activities to commit to them (ourselves included), particularly going out in nature in ALL weather.
  • We value women’s labour, and want to provide employment opportunities for SAHM’s in a child friendly work environment.
  • We also love contributing to a circular economy, where we are employing women who are then going on to invest their income in local, green economies.

4. Village building

  • While our playgroup and activities are child-centred, they also come from our innate desire as parents/mothers to be surround by a village of like-minded parents.

👉 Wildlings Forest School Contact Details

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👉 Freebie:
And if you’d like a little inspiration to get outside enjoying nature, click here to get our FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt printable.

27 episodes