Frequently Asked Questions

To help you get the quickest possible response, we reccommend skimming through our Frequently Asked Questions before contacting us.

Still have questions? Submit an enquiry here.

KIN Village

What is KIN Village?

KIN Village is our holiday program for 6-12 year olds. It runs from 9am until 4pm each day, and can be attended once, or multiple times! Find out more about KIN Village here.

What does my child need to bring along to the program?

We would love the kids to pack their own bag to develop self-responsibility and to help them know what they have for the day. Video packing lists are available here

General items they will likely need include:

  • A healthy lunch and snack for throughout the day
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen (not aerosol-based)
  • Change of clothes including a spare jumper, warm pants and socks etc
  • Bathers for water-based activities (only for river locations)
  • Jumper and raincoat - multiple layers recommended
  • Plastic bag for wet/dirty clothes
  • Towel
  • Shoes
  • Water bottle
  • All contained in a small backpack the child can carry

How will I know where to find where the program is taking place?

The magical spaces we use for our programs are detailed on our website. A link to the map will also be sent with confirmation of your enrollment.

When you arrive - look for the bright green and orange flags! If you have difficulty finding us on the day of the program, please call the program leader. Their phone number is detailed in the welcome email that should have landed in your inbox approximately one week prior to the session in which your child is booked.

Are there toilet facilities?

All of our programs have toilet facilities either on site, or a short walk away. If the bathrooms are not on site, children will be escorted to the toilets in groups by a staff member at regular intervals throughout the day and on request.

Can I attend KIN Village with my child?

Our KIN Village program is designed to allow children to freely explore their world and community alongside trained mentors who help educate, support, challenge and guide.

For KIN Village, we keep participants to children (between 6-12 years of age) and our staff. All staff (excluding Junior Facilitators) at a minimum have current first aid training and Working With Children Checks.

Educated by Nature focuses on training staff in a particular philosophy of mentoring. It is important to us that all adults on site follow and communicate this philosophy throughout interactions and activities during the day.  

If your child is having difficulty with the day, we will work together with the child to assist with coping strategies. We may phone and ask you to collect your child if required. Please be aware that we would unfortunately not be able to issue a refund in this situation.

My child is not a strong swimmer - will they be okay at one of your rafting programs?

Water activities at KIN Village are in waist-deep, shallow water. Any children in the water are always monitored by a facilitator with Bronze Medallion qualifications and they watch for tipping and raft testing along with general water safety. At the beginning of each session, the group is given strict physical boundaries which includes instruction about the river.

Additional facilitators monitor the river if a large group of children are in the water.

Do you split the children up - can my child be placed with their friends/siblings?

The groups, or Directions as we refer to them at KIN Village (North, South, East & West), are chosen by the children at the start of the day - so they can choose to be with their friends and siblings.

There are only three times throughout the day where children would be specifically divided into these Directions – check-in at the start of the day, lunch and pack-up. Throughout the majority of the day, the children are free to choose who they would like to interact and engage with at KIN Village.

Can I drop my child off early?

We understand the beginning of the day can be very busy – being in traffic, dropping children, getting to work. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate early drop-offs. Our staff start the day early preparing the space and resources for a day at KIN Village. Prior to the commencement of each KIN Village session, the staff meet from 8:45am near the sign-in area. This is an important part of the day as it an opportunity for a safety briefing check-in and to discuss final logistics for the day to care specifically for the group of children who will be attending (for example, noting allergies, medical requirements, specific things to be aware of at different times of the day).

You didn’t post any photos of my child! What are some questions I can ask to get them talking about their day?

We do our best to take and post lots of photos, but sometimes we get caught up in all the amazing adventures and don't get a chance! Here are some questions to ask that might help jog your child's memory.

  • Did you go in the tool space today? If so, what did you make? What tools did you use? Did you have to learn a new skill?
  • Did you build a cubby today? What materials did you use? Was it waterproof?
  • Did you try anything new today that challenged you?
  • What did you share as your story of the day at the end of the session?

Bush Inventors’ Club

What is Bush Inventors' Club?

Bush Inventors' Club is our after-school and home-school program. It usually runs as an 8 week series across the school term, in 2 hour weekly sessions for after school Clubs and 3 hour weekly sessions for home-school Clubs. Find out more about Bush Inventors' Club.

What does my child need to bring along to Bush Inventors' Club?

For Bush Inventors' Club we ask that your child wears clothes that are okay to get a little dirty! If this isn't their school uniform and they are coming from school, it would be great if they could have a set of clothes to change into.

Your child should also come with a snack, a water bottle, a sunhat, and a raincoat/jumper if the weather is looking cold or rainy. If they require anything specific for a session, we will let you know the week prior via email.    

Can I attend Bush Inventors' Club with my child?

For Bush Inventors’ Club, we keep participants to children (between 6-12 years of age) and our staff. All staff (excluding Junior Facilitators) at a minimum have current first aid training and Working With Children Checks.

Educated by Nature focuses on training staff in a particular philosophy of mentoring. It is important to us that all adults on site follow and communicate this philosophy throughout interactions and activities during the day.  

If your child is having difficulty with the day, we will work together with the child to assist with coping strategies. We may phone and ask you to collect your child if required. Please be aware that we would unfortunately not be able to issue a refund in this situation.

Do you do trial sessions?

We are unfortunately unable to offer trial sessions for Bush Inventors' Club. As we have a strong focus on mentoring - the first week is simply an introductory week, so it will not showcase the full scope of the program. Additionally, due to the structure of the program and to make it viable for our staff we require registration for the length of the term.

If you are concerned about your child's ability to attend Bush Inventors' Club please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss whether the program will be right for you.

Is it okay for me to pick my child up early?

Bush Inventors' Club sessions are structured carefully to take up all of the allotted time. We prefer that children are not picked up early on a regular basis, as it can be frustrating for them when they are unable to close out activities - as well as disruptive to the rest of the group. We understand that sometimes you may need to pick your child up early, we ask that you just let us know in advance so we can facilitate this to be as easy as possible!

Bookings, Refunds and Cancellations

How do I book in?

All bookings for our family programs are done through Humanitix, a secure external booking agent. You can book into KIN here and book into BIC here.

To book one of our school programs, please visit the relevant page and submit an enquiry. We will get back to you shortly to work out the details!

The forecast is for wet/very hot weather. Will the program be cancelled?

Our sessions will operate in wet weather. As the Danish saying goes, ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!’ On very wet days, we will set up shelter for kids needing space from the rain.

Please come prepared to play in rain, splash in puddles, roll in mud and get hot and sweaty.

For all our summer sessions, we have water-based activities to keep us cool, as well as shady areas to relax in. In the middle of the day, when it is the hottest, we will take some time to sit in the shade, share stories and play games. We reapply sunscreen at least every hour and half and require kids to be wearing hats at all times.

We monitor the weather closely in the days leading up to a session. In the case of extreme weather (including by not limited to extreme heat, high winds, lightning and hail) or other dangerous situations, we will contact you via text message on the morning of the session to notify of the cancellation. In the event of a cancellation please refer to the section of our Bookings Terms and Conditions relevant to your program.

My child is unwell on the day of the program (KIN Village). Can I book a ‘make-up’ session or obtain a refund?

In the event a participant misses a KIN Village session due to sickness, a gift certificate to Educated by Nature programs can be offered on receipt of a medical certificate. Just send us a copy of the certificate to admin@educatedbynature.com within four business days of the missed session.

I need to cancel my booking. How can I do this?

To cancel your booking, please send us an email at admin@educatedbynature.com letting us know your name, your child’s name and the session you wish to cancel. Because of the paperwork involved in cancelling or transferring a booking, we require at least four business days notice to provide a gift certificate. Cancellation with less than four business days’ notice will be charged at the full rate.

Help! I booked for the wrong session and need to transfer.

We are able to perform booking transfers when there are other spaces available within the same holiday/term period, provided we are given four business days notice. To check if any other sessions are available, please visit our booking sites - bookings for KIN Village, bookings for Bush Inventors' Club.

If there are no sessions available, with four business days notice we are able offer a gift certificate for a future season.

My child no longer wants to attend - can their friend/sibling come in their place?

We need at least four working days notice to transfer a booking to another child. As it is important that we have proper medical and contact information for every child in attendance, we need to re-prepare all paperwork for the session. Transfers between participants cannot be performed with less than four working days notice.

The program in which I’d like to enrol is sold out. Can I go on a waiting list for one of the programs?

Thanks for your interest in our programs! If the program is full on Humanitix you will be able to select to join the waitlist for your desired day. If any places become available, you will be notified via email.

My child just turned 13, but loves Bush Inventors' Club/KIN Village. Can they keep attending?

In some cases we have had children aged 13 still attend our programs, send us an email at admin@educatedbynature.com to discuss further.

My child is almost six - can they still attend?

Unfortunately, children who have not yet turned six are unable to attend our current family programs (Bush Inventors' Club and KIN Village). We are firm on this limit to keep it fair for all families. This means even if your child's sixth birthday is next week - they will be unable to attend until after their sixth birthday. Incursions and other school-based programs can be tailored to the class/group and are suitable for younger children.

Philosophy

Are there facillitator/child ratios?

We maintain a 1:11 ratio as a minimum.

Why are my children exposed to and engaged with dangerous or risky activities at Educated by Nature programs?

We believe allowing children to face risk and challenge increases their abilities to push themselves to their limits, to find those limits and then develop ways to expand them.

Children need risk in their lives to allow opportunities for learning, self-development, resiliency building and excitement. Nature provides opportunities for children to experience risk and manage themselves in risky situations.

Facilitators guide participants to grow their ability in self-assessing and manage risk.

For further information and great resources, we recommend checking out Tim Gill’s website.

Should my child wear shoes throughout the program?

Bare foot connection with the earth is really important, however our programs do run in public spaces. Facilitators do a visual sweep of the space during setting up, but we cannot guarantee that there aren’t things in the space that may be sharp or cause injury. We ask that children and adults be aware of the space and ground they are walking on and take care.

What are the Play Responsibilities?

Educated by Nature believes in the child’s right to play and ask children to take on responsibility for their play by respecting themselves, each other and the environment.

Bush Inventors’ Club and KIN Village are drop and leave programs for 6 -12 year olds. Children attending these programs are required to have the capacity to take on the following responsibilities:

  • Leave their parent/s or guardian/s at the drop off point and attend the session on their own (for children requiring support workers see Convention 8 of booking terms and conditions).
    Remain within the physical boundaries set by Educated by Nature facilitators.
  • Follow Educated by Nature facilitator calls and directions.
    Respond to instructions to gather as a group to listen to safety briefings, instructions and discussions throughout the day (in English).
  • Work alongside other children, sharing resources and ideas.
  • Use strategies to deal with frustration or other negative emotions. Examples include speaking about how they feel, seeking help or removing themselves from the group but staying within the boundaries.
  • Self-risk assess and participate in activities. Some activities are designed to comfort participants (ie. being in a hammock) and some may provide challenge (ie. using carpentry tools).

It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to assess whether their child has the capacity to take on the responsibilities at an Educated by Nature program. Educated by Nature facilitators will work together with the child, as much as practical, to assist with carrying out these play responsibilities.

Why do we drop our children off separate to where you spend the day?

The journey from the drop-off point to our home base forms an important ritual of the day. As we leave our parents/guardians behind, we move out of any feelings of unrest the morning may have caused and into a brand new and exciting space. Leaving our guardians behind gives the day a sense of adventure, as we journey forth.

For this reason, we ask that parents be ready to say goodbye at the drop-off space and do not accompany us any further. We will have at least four staff with us and someone is always available to hang out with any nervous participants until they find their feet.

Why do you use real tools?

We are so glad you asked! There are so many reasons, but here are a few main ones:

  • Being able to engage with risky activities is so important for children. It helps them to develop vital self-risk assessment skills for adult life.
  • When we trust children, it instills in them a belief that they are capable, building self confidence.
  • Real tools are easier to use! Fake, “child-safe” tools are hard to hurt yourself with, but also hard to build with. Children have more success, and are less likely to just give up, when they have real tools.
  • It teaches responsibility. We explain carefully the risks and dangers of the tool, and how to avoid them. The presence of real risk pushes them to rise to the challenge and act responsibly.

I was always taught not to play with fire! Why are you teaching kids how to make it?

All of our fire sessions are accompanied with detailed instructions. We walk through the reasons why we do things in certain ways and explain how they keep ourselves safe. We find that when children are fearful of fire, they act erratically around it and are much more likely to get hurt. When they understand and respect fire, they act purposefully and calmly, taking responsibility for their own safety.

We do not have matches at our programs. Instead, we use Fire Steels. These are not easy! Children must persevere, developing hand muscles and coordination skills, to be able to light the fire. Once lit, we use fire as an opportunity to teach cooking, and then as a catalyst for community building as we all sit around it.

Why the big age range?

Our programs aim to build community and foster mentoring across different age groups – this is reflected both in our participant and staff age range. We believe multiple ages and experiences are important and mentoring can happen backwards through age groups.

Check out this blog for further explanation - The Art of Mentoring.

Do you do different things each day/term? Can my child attend a program twice?

No two sessions are ever identical! All our programs have a set flow, but allow for child-led freedom within the structure. (We follow the Natural Cycle as outlined by the 8 Shields Institute of Deep Nature Connection. This cycle is based natural energy flows of the day and fits with our body’s natural progression).

For KIN Village, each holiday has a different theme, but many children attend multiple sessions throughout each school holiday period. Although elements are the same the possibilities are endless and it is in these similarities and familiarities that children find the comfort to return to the project they started, kick off where they left a game or start a completely new adventure. We also offer multiple locations, so that is another way to alter the experience of KIN Village.

Bush Inventors' Club offers a different theme each term and we mix up the activities each year. For example, if your child attends our fire term two years running we might add in some new recipes or new fire techniques to keep things fresh!

Other

What happens if my child is injured at a program?

We take every possible precaution to make sure that our programs are safe and injury free, but we understand that sometimes accidents happen.

Each program will have at least one first aid qualified facilitator and there will always be a first aid kit on site for each program.

Prior to each session/program, the facilitators will conduct a site search to clear obvious hazards. Please note that we meet in public places and we ask all who attend to also share in the responsibility of keeping each other safe.

Educated by Nature has $20 million Public Liability Insurance.

In the case of injury or incident the parent/guardian will be asked to complete an incident report form.

Can my child attend with a support worker?

We are open to the possibility of having a child’s support worker attend a program with them. It is a requirement that support workers are external professionals rather than family members. If you think your child might need a support worker to assist them in meeting our play responsibilities please contact us to discuss prior to booking.

My child has a disability, are your programs suitable for them?

Educated by Nature believes in the child’s right to play and asks children to take on responsibility for their play by respecting themselves, each other and the environment. We have many children with disabilities attend and enjoy our programs. Please contact us to discuss your child’s specific needs further.

You can also read our inclusion policy here.

Can I purchase a gift voucher?

Yes! We offer gift vouchers for set monetary amounts ($25, $50 or $100) as well as gift vouchers for program costs ($95 for one KIN Village session).

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher:

1. Email us at admin@educatedbynature.com with your name, phone number and the type of gift voucher you would like to purchase. We’ll send you an invoice accordingly.

2. Pay the invoice and we will email a digital gift voucher which contains the unique code to use when booking.

Then the recipient of the gift voucher can:
3. Book into available Educated by Nature’s program/s via our website using the unique code.

Do you still sell take-home kits?

We do! We currently have fire kits, whittling kits and stick-lets. Please email admin@educatedbynature to find out more and order.

Do you still run Mud Pies Nature Playgroup?

Our Mud Pies Nature Playgroup and Open Days are currently on hold and not being offered. We are taking time to reflect on ways in which Mud Pies Nature Playgroup could better meet the needs, desires and expectations of the community into the future. As yet we do not have a re-release date.

We are often invited to be part of family community events suitable for young children and families. We promote these opportunities via our Facebook page and monthly newsletter.

Educated by Nature Incursions may be of interest if you are part of a playgroup, child care centre or community group.

Do you still run KIN Village Junior/Senior?

We have consolidated our offerings into one KIN Village program that caters for 6-12 year olds.

When is your next family camp?

Unfortunately, we are not currently offering family camps.

Can I hire you for a birthday party?

Unfortunately, we do not offer birthday parties as our focus lies in programs where mentoring is able to be embedded such as incursions, after-school clubs and professional learning workshops.

If you are interested, we offer gift certificates for our programs which make great birthday gifts!