Nara is very proud of our extensive and inviting outdoor play environment. Educators plan and make the most of learning opportunities in both outdoor, and indoor, environments.
Young children need space, fresh air, exercise and opportunity to explore and play in natural outdoor environments. This is extremely important in keeping children fit and healthy, tackling the obesity epidemic and encouraging a deep and lasting connection with nature and the environment. Every day at Nara children have the opportunity to engage in play in our exciting outdoor learning environment.
Outdoor learning environments are living, breathing spaces that change every day. We offer children many elements to stimulate their senses, language development, imagination and understanding of their world. Through providing a space with sand, bark, grass, water, pebbles, and dirt children learn about the many elements of the natural physical world and relate in a hands-on, open-ended manner. Children observe, discover, question, reflect and document within natural outdoor environments.
Materials such as rocks, logs, sand, water, living gardens and plants provide endless opportunities, challenges and ideas for children’s play. These features are particularly important given the urban nature of a modern childhood. Children gain an understanding of the elements of nature and interact in a meaningful and purposeful manner. Children develop their fine and gross motor skills, spatial awareness, balance and coordination through engaging in outdoor play.
At Nara we value the beauty of natural objects and our natural environment. ‘It might be caterpillars in a tree, the changing colour of leaves or the types of visiting birds; all provide a focus for children’s innate curiosity’ (S.Elliot & J.Davis 2008, p.5). We aim to develop a sense of life-long curiosity and sense of wonder in the natural world. We ensure sufficient supervision in our indoor and outdoor spaces by working with high staff: low child ratios. We value the benefits of children building confidence and learning to take risks within a safe and supervised setting. We believe in children having choices to learn in both indoor and outdoor environments and advocate for the benefits of outdoor and indoor learning spaces.
S.Elliot and J.Davis 2008, Why Natural Outdoor Playspaces? in The Outdoor Playspace naturally, Pademelon Press, NSW.