Bush Kindy at Chapel Hill Kindergarten
We offer weekly Bush Kindy sessions in Terms Two and Three. The children walk to a local park and explore the diverse natural environments of the creek and the surrounding bush. We spend two hours each session exploring the bush, using materials we find to inspire creative play.
The Bush Kindy sessions offer many opportunities for your child to develop their self-confidence, social skills and resilience. Spending more time outdoors also helps children develop knowledge and respect for the natural environment.
The program is child initiated, unstructured play with time to use real tools and learn new skills. The Bush Kindy sessions promote problem solving and self-assessed risk taking.
There is also one annual offsite excursion with an environmental focus. In 2018, the venue was the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.
Embracing the tradition of getting children back in touch and hands on with nature we spent two years researching the feasibility of developing a Bush Kindy program. In 2013 we trialled a new offsite aspect of our curriculum: Bush Kindy, the first Bush Kindy program in Queensland.
We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful natural environment here at Chapel Hill and we felt that we could build on this. The lifelong benefits for children in terms of their social and physical development, academic performance as well as reduced stress and overall health has been very well documented. Children and nature simply belong together – in our technology driven lives with ever increasing screen time it is more important than ever before to make these connections with nature and help our children thrive.
The bush becomes the most extraordinary classroom. Our Kindy children participate with such eagerness and excited smiles, they engage, listen intently and with careful observation they embark on a wonderful journey of discovery.
We are very lucky that our local environmental group assists us with teaching our Kindy children about their discoveries; spider webs, ant lion tacks, foliage, endangered butterflies, animal and reptile scratch marks on tree trunks, berries and flowers... They also love listening to kookaburras and finding different types of feathers, sometimes our Kindy children sit ever so quietly and use all their senses to discover even more exciting natural wonders.