Junior nature club
junior nature club
Over the past four years we have engaged many children in nature play, exploration, education, fun and discovery ..... its all part of a days session with our Junior Nature Club led by a fully qualified zoologist!
Unfortunately at this stage, Leap into Nature's Junior Nature Club is no longer running while Christina is studying her Master of Environment course at the University of Melbourne. I hope to introduce new programs in the future.
Why is outdoor play in nature important for kids?
Physically: it increases physical activity levels, improves agility and develops risk assessment abilities.
Emotionally: it reduces childhood anxiety, stress and depression, increases attention span, and provides children with the opportunity to develop independence, decision-making skills and improves self regulation.
Socially: it increases confidence, improves problem solving skills, increases creativity in make believe group play and provides positive social interactions for all children.
"Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living." - Zenobia Barlow, “Confluence of Streams”
We encourage children to:
- Learn about new tools, technologies and techniques to explore their world and enhance their learning
- Use their senses to explore natural environments
- Show growing appreciation and care for natural environments
- let the environment and children lead the learning, e.g. if a bird or frog calls, we stop the activity, observe, listen and take note
- put a lot of value on the sensory experience
- understand that children learn best about our environment by connecting through hands-on activities
- allow for and encourage play with 'loose' natural materials such as sticks, stones, grass, puddles, mud and sand
- include a nature art component to our sessions
- encourage play in mud, water and sand
- value and pursue the child's interest, questions, curiosity and imagination
- allow time for children to carry out meaningful, purposeful interactions in the environment and observe living things
- encourage animal observations, enjoying time that allows for observation, discovery, and exploring interactions between living things