All of Educated by Nature’s programs occur in outdoor spaces. We find locations that support groups of children to experience nature in raw forms, as opposed to manicured lawns, ovals and gardens. We aim to have a location that has a variety of vegetation, access to water (we love the river) and a place that envelopes and holds a group. Rich outdoor play occurs in an environment that provides endless opportunities. While our most popular location for our KIN Village and Bush Inventors’ Club sessions is the Swan River foreshore in Crawley, we love the diversity that our other locations provide.
Guildford Grammar School and Hamilton Hill are unique spaces to run a KIN Village. They possess a variety of unique flora, but both provide great opportunity for children to engage and connect with nature. The sheoak forest at Guildford creates a mystical world, inspiring children in their play. Conversely, the diversity of trees at Hamilton Hill offer a great climbing challenge for the children, fostering an excitement and determined energy.
We are always pleased to see the children’s ability to identify the sour grass and fennel amongst the shrubs at Hamilton Hill. They often proceed to start chewing these and explaining what they are to newer kids at the program. In sharing their knowledge of the local environment, the older members of KIN Village show their connection to the location and open the minds of the newcomers.
Our Guildford site is very well connected to the river. Children enjoy getting messy and having fun in the mud and clay. We hear their shouts of surprise at the changing texture of the mud as they venture deeper into the river. Their connection with environment builds through their sensory awareness and engagement.
Cubbies and Adventure
The bush space in Hamilton Hill promotes a sense of adventure and exploration. It is a larger area, but has designated tracks to minimise disruption on the local wildlife. These expansive and winding paths create opportunity for games such as capture the flag, connecting our home base with the surrounding environment.
Guildford provides an amazing space for cubby building. The terrain is sloped, forcing the kids to adapt their building. We have witnessed cubbies being built at the top of the hill, with zip-lines going from the top to the bottom to make access easier. Some children build safety ropes on the perimeter of the river, to assist their peers in traversing the area. The imagination of the children draws inspiration from the unique Guildford space.
Children often set a preference for one space over the others, often this is linked to their proximity to the space and their parent’s ability to drop them off and pick them up at a location. We are very aware that convenience is definitely a factor when when choosing a KIN Village location for holiday activities. Our challenge is for children to try out a new locations, to experience the diversity in the natural environment and the way a space guides the play, exploration and discoveries in unique ways.
KIN Village is a school holiday drop and leave program for 6 – 12 year olds in various locations in Perth, Western Australia. Bookings for these school holiday programs can be made at this link.