Bush & Beach Kinder

Building strong connections to the natural world, our Bush Kinder program helps to develop confident children.

 

Overview

Our bush kinder will provide a valuable natural kindergarten experience for 4-year-old kinder children enrolled at Little Scholars. A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to take the lead in playing, exploring and learning in a forest or natural environment.

Bush Kinder is a special part of a Little Scholars’ total kinder experience. A model to suit our community’s and children’s specic needs. It recognises the place the bush has in Australian folklore and the signicance of the land in aboriginal culture. It draws upon and extends the existing philosophy of Little Scholars to oer a unique educational program.

No toys, No tools, No art supplies. The children and adults benet from using only what nature has provided. “Outdoor spaces with plants, trees, rocks, mud and water invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking and a connection with nature” (NQS, QA 3 Physical environment).

Little Scholars Deception Bay also do Beach Kinder and visit local beach areas regularly as part of this program. 

Today’s children often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment.  Richard Louv called this phenomenon, ‘nature-deficit disorder’ in his book, The Last Child in the Woods, and opened the nation’s eyes to the developmental effects that nature has on our children. Louv documented how modern family life has changed dramatically in the last two decades.  So Little Scholars wanted to make a difference where we could.

All of our campuses offer a Bush or beach Kinder program. Our bush kinder will provide a valuable natural kindergarten experience for 4-year-old kinder children enrolled at Little Scholars. A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to take the lead in playing, exploring, and learning in a forest or natural environment.

Bush Kinder is a special part of a Little Scholars’ total kinder experience. A model to suit our community’s and children’s specific needs. It recognises the place the bush has in Australian folklore and the significance of the land in aboriginal culture. It draws upon and extends the existing philosophy of Little Scholars to a unique educational program.

No toys, No tools, No art supplies. The children and adults benefit from using only what nature has provided. “Outdoor spaces with plants, trees, rocks, mud and water invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking and a connection with nature” (NQS, QA 3 Physical environment).

Positive impacts of Bush and Beach Kinder include the following:

• Supports multiple development domains. Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).

• Enhances cognitive abilities. Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).

• Improves academic performance. Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).

• Improves nutrition. Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell & Dyment, 2008) and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek, & Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).

• Improves social relations. Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005).

• Improves self-discipline. Access to green spaces, and even a view of green settings, enhances peace, selfcontrol and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001). 

• Reduces stress. Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show more significant results (Wells and Evans, 2003).

*Little Scholars Deception Bay also do Beach Kinder and visit local beach areas regularly as part of this program.