Handprints Nature Play

We at Handprints place a strong focus on nature play. We believe that nature brings out the best in children, as it keeps their minds fresh and switched on to the ever-changing conditions. Children need to adapt to prevailing conditions such as uneven surfaces, heights and new textures and find creative ways to over come these challenges. We have noticed that after just a few weeks of nature play, even the most shy and unsure children will be getting out there and testing their abilities.  St ives Preschool

Though it is not only the shy children that nature play benefits. From our ongoing programs in nature, we have noticed huge differences in the modes of play that the children engage with from the classroom to the bush. Children who wouldn’t usually play together find new connections. Children who spend their days with a particularly favourite resource are branching out. It is like the change of environment has such an impact on the child’s sense of who they are, and what they can achieve, and what they enjoy.

Another major benefit of nature play is the increased resilience and ability to negotiate risks with confidence. Climbing on tree’s or finding ways to cross lakes, challenges children’s perception of what they are capable of. Even if they sustain a minor injury, something in them grows and we have seen a vast increase in emotional regulation and resilience through being in nature together. The children have found a comradery in the bush. They connect with each other, share, solve problems and collaborate. They comfort each other and build togetherness as they all learn about the new space as one. Being in nature helps the children to learn to act freely and learn from their peers doing the same. St ives Childcare

With all of these social highlights, its hard to believe that the list of benefits just keeps going! Being in the bush promotes intellect. The children increase their ability to focus and concentrate. They learn about the world around them, animals, climate and interconnected relationships. Children who engage regularly in nature play have increased flexibility and gross motor skills. One of the most valuable factors of nature play is the way it reduces stress. All of a sudden, the children have the ability to just enjoy being. They recognise the significance in the here and now. They find comfort in the peace and tranquillity of nature. Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world, and what better time to achieve this, than right now.

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