special announcement time!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hiya! Some special news on nature // street today!

I'm super excited to share that I'm working in collaboration with Brighton Primary School and their Outdoor Education Specialist, Simon Hutchinson, to put on the... 

Brighton Primary School Nature Play Adventure Day! 

The event will form part of Nature Play SA's inaugural Nature Play Week*, and will see the school open their new nature play areas for an unstructured and creative play session suitable for toddlers and primary schoolers. The day will also feature mud exploration and junk yard adventure spaces so we're recommending people deck the kids in their olds and get ready for a play experience like no other!

The Deets

It's all going down on Wednesday 1 October 2014 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Brighton Primary (1 Highet Ave, Brighton). The Day is open to the public and we're seeking a gold coin donation upon entry to support the creation of a new digging pit and cubby house at the school.

The Approach

Our event is all about providing kids with the opportunity to play outdoors and have positive experiences with nature. We'll be doing this by:
  • featuring a variety of exciting play spaces [keep reading below for more info!]
  • allowing children to direct their own play - to decide what they play with and how, to create their own rules and let their play naturally evolve with limited adult intervention
  • incorporating lots of loose parts to encourage kids to imagine, create, build, and manipulate objects and spaces.

The Play Spaces

We'll be featuring a number of play zones including nature play areas, mud kitchens, and a pop-up junk yard adventure space. A special area will also available for toddlers. Adults are encouraged to grab a drink from the on-site coffee van and to sit back and enjoy our pallet tables and log seating areas. 

Nature Play Areas
Two of the school's fantastic nature play areas will be opened to the public. These areas were designed by Brighton Primary students and features include creek beds, a sand dune environment and boardwalk, lots of boulders, logs and tree stumps, a teepee, bridge, rope hammock and even a fire pit! The areas have been planted with indigenous plants and feature lots of loose natural materials such as sticks, rocks, bark and seed pods. The school kids love these areas and as a parent I think they're a great source of inspiration for nature play elements that can be incorporated into home yards.

Mud Exploration
Yep, water + dirt = loadsa fun for kids. Mud play offers an important sensory experience that helps kids learn about the natural world and how they can interact with it. We're currently busy building mud-kitchens [like the one pictured below] to form our mud exploration space!

Mud pie kitchen. I think this might be the design I go with made out of what looks like old pallets and metal bowls.
source: via Pinterest (origin unknown)

Pop-Up Junk Yard Adventure

As Pop-up Adventure Play explains, these type of temporary play spaces "are a public celebration of child-directed play, best characterized by an abundance of loose parts (eg, cardboard boxes, fabric, tape, string, etc.) They allow children of all ages and abilities to explore, and express their natural play instincts, together." Our space is also inspired by "junk" adventure playgrounds such as Wales' The Land, and accordingly will feature recycled and waste materials such as wooden pallets, milk crates, cardboard boxes, tyres, planks and buckets.

The Finer Deets!

Please come with an expectation that your kids will probably get dirty and an understanding that they're going to have a ball in doing so! Please dress them and pack accordingly  - and remember to slip, slop, slap!

We'll have a few volunteers [school educators and parents] assisting on the day and encourage adults to enjoy sitting back and allowing the kids to  play freely.

Light snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at the school and there are water fountains on site. 

And of course a day like this can't come together without supportive partners - we'd like to express our sincere thanks to Nature Play SA, the City of Holdfast Bay and NRM Education for their support and contributions as we prepare for the big day!

We'd really love for you to join this unique play experience and to be a part of celebrating all things nature, play and community. 

Please pop any questions in the comments section below and look out for further blog posts in the lead up to the big day!

All the best!

*Nature Play SA is hosting Nature Play Week, a week celebrating all things nature play across SA, in the first week of the Spring School Holidays (27 September - 4 October 2014). A heap of fantastic activities are being held across SA including at the SA Museum, Adelaide and Monarto Zoos, Cleland Wildlife Park, local councils, libraries, beaches, parks and a range of other places! The events calendar has just gone live so head over and check it out, and keep in touch with Nature Play Week updates via the Nature Play SA Facebook page.

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