Teaching children from a young age about the environment makes them aware of their surroundings and its importance in everyday life.
What better way to learn about the environment than to immerse children in it?
The Bush Kinder Program allows children to travel to local bush, river and creek settings for a weekly dose of nature. We take 20 native tree and bush seedlings for planting each fortnight.
Experts from the Gosnells Armadale Landcare Group have provided the teachers and children with valuable information about how to best attract native fauna to the area. We discuss with the children how pink and purple attracts butterflies while the bees like white and yellow flowering plants.
The Group has also taught us how to plant a bandicoot-friendly environment. We explain to the children that some animals in the area are nocturnal so we don’t see them but we look for their tracks each time we visit. The children help check on the progress of older trees and shrubs and collect any litter in the area.
Our weekly bush visits perfectly combine nature, exploration and inspiration.
We design the Bush Kinder Program around developing the children’s neuroplasticity (the muscle building part of the brain). For 2-3 hours of play in the natural bush environment, the children are focused, asking questions, answering their own questions and learning to take considered risk. Environmental-based learning also helps with balance and physical activity. But our learning opportunities don’t stop at the end of our bush visit.
We have a culture of environmental awareness in the centre and encourage the children to be active in loose parts play. Children collect leaves and twigs on their nature trips and play with them back at the centre.
We explain to the children how sustainable trees are used to manufacture many of the toys, flooring and furniture in the centre. The children play with toys and games made of timber in its raw form. Keeping the bark intact helps children make the link between the trees and their timber toys. It’s all about bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out.
Freo Kids has set up mutually beneficial alliances with local groups to assist with our kinder programs.
The Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group delivers 20 native seedlings to our Kelmscott centre each fortnight for the children to plant. The Group has advised us on where and how best to plant the seedlings to maximise local fauna visits.
Our partnership with the Kelmscott Senior High School Specialist Agriculture Program sees the children plant trees with older role model students annually in a shared process that both age groups can enjoy and learn from.
In recognition of the important role fathers play in the lives of their children, we’ve joined The Fathering Project. The Kinder program provides fun activities for children to do with their dads and father-figures.
If you would like to know more information about how your 3-5 year old child can be involved in the Bush Kinder Program, call the Kelmscott centre on 6370 4113.