Principles of Nature Connection

Educated by Nature’s programs aim to support the development of eight core elements as outlined in our principles of nature connection. These elements are not just our principles, but our passion.

Educated by Nature’s Guiding Principles of Learning Within Nature:


  • Children instinctively learn through play

  • They learn about self, others and the environment through interactions

  • Play can be through exploration, physical movement, construction or imaginative role-play

  • Play helps understanding of rules of both physics and society

  • Play needs to be self-chosen and self-directed

  • The best learning through play happens when children are active, alert and relaxed

Physical Development

  • Children grow their ability to perform general and specific actions with their bodies

  • Movement of the body helps to support the development of cognitive abilities

  • Learning is affected heavily by the way children develop the ability to use their bodies

  • Gross motor skills are needed to develop fine motor skills

  • Children need to be able to climb a tree before being able to write a sentence

Physical Development

Sensory Diets

  • There are many more senses than the five we all learnt about at school

  • Children need whole body tactile experiences to develop their brains with their senses

  • Good sensory integration gives children an accurate mental representation of the world

  • Strong tactile perception and good motor planning assists in navigating the world

  • Proprioception and Equilibrioception are developed more rapidly when interacting in the outdoors

  • Multisensory integration is needed for active attention and focus

  • Nature provides a variety of different surfaces and materials to explore

  • Opportunities for Sensory Risk Taking are crucial for developing the whole brain


  • Challenges increase children’s abilities to find their limits and then develop ways to expand

  • Children use the fear in risk-taking to self-assess danger

  • Risk encourages learning, self-development, resilience building and excitement

  • Nature provides experiences of risk and management of risky situations

  • Children need to be in control of their own choices to confront fear and challenge

Principles of Nature Connection - Identity


  • Children are capable and can carry out many actions independently

  • When children are independently successful they build a positive and capable self-identity

  • Strong self-identity builds confidence for tasks at home and school in future years

  • Regularly meeting a community of children and adults extends sense of belonging

  • Connection to a place regularly is important in building connection to the environment


  • Children’s brains seek meaning in experiences they encounter

  • Open-ended activities invite children to explore, ask questions, experiment, play and create

  • Natural spaces have infinite elements that inspire and engage curious minds

  • Nature and other materials can be brought together and presented in inspiring ways

Principles of Nature Connection - Curiosity


  • All people need opportunities to be physically active

  • Walking barefoot activates tactile senses, develops the foot arch, massages and grounds the body

  • Green spaces calm our emotions and create a sense of peace

  • Green is good for the eyes and helps strengthen the muscles in the eyes 

  • Close connection with nature creates a sense of safety, comfort and belonging


  • Developing connection and love for creatures and plants

  • Learning to share, give and take turns during play

  • Using senses to identify our feelings and the feelings of others

  • Building awareness in nature helps to build awareness in communities

Principles of Nature Connection - Empathy