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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Nature Programme Winter 2012

Every Friday, the 10 eldest children at Mairtown Kindergarten along with a parent helper, a teacher and Sarah (our admin support) spend the whole of their Kindergarten session exploring Mairpark. Last Friday was the final nature programme for this term and we welcomed a visitor, Clair, a teacher from Auckland who wanted to discover more about our programme.

Developing physical and gross motor skills

Creating opportunities for risk-taking

Each week children have the opportunity to make their own decisions about the morning; which areas of the park to visit, how long to spend in any area, where to next? This is great for developing negotiation and team working skills.

Last Friday was very relaxed, and we took full advantage of the glorious winter sunshine. One of the first places the children decided they wanted to visit was the area known fondly as ‘the beach’. Several weeks ago at this same spot the children had engaged in some ephemeral art. You can imagine our surprise when we discovered (even after all the rain) that most of this work was still there and intact. This little revelation inspired the children to re-visit this topic and they spent a great deal of the morning creating more beautiful works of art, and all from the natural resources that surrounded them.

 Developing ways to be creative and expressive

Next we moved onto ‘punga hill’ and after finding the long rope in our back pack had a lot of fun sliding on our bottoms down the hill, then used the rope to help pull ourselves back to the top.

And yes, even the teachers can't resist having a turn!

Children find their own objects in play

Learning about nature,
Learning alongside nature,
Learning in nature.

The rope is a fantastic resource and a short while later came in very handy in making a tree swing.

Before we knew it (time seems to fly past in the bush) it was time to leave, and say goodbye to Mairpark for this term. What a great morning!

“I am trying to understand not a single isolated object but nature as a whole – how the leaf has grown, how it has changed, how it has decayed, how the weather is affected by it. By working with a leaf in its place I begin to understand these processes.” 
Andy Goldsworthy

Here is a small video clip of our morning.



mandyb said...

Hi Mairtown Kindergarten children, staff and whanau

i am a teacher at a kindergarten in Wellington and a friend of Abby's mum (Tracy P).

On a regular basis she shares all the wonderful things that your centre does (through FB and a link)....and when i go to work the following day i share it with my team.
I love the concept and idea of having a local forest close enough to visit....sadly being a city centre we dont have anything too close (walking distance...by car yes!!!)...though recently we boarded a bus for a 35 min trip to a local farm where on of our children lives. It was great for the children to see COWS, SHEEP and HORSES in nature vs in a book!!! And what was even better was R was the leader in sharing his farm with us!!!

We are though surrounded by a lot of birds so have a feeding programme for the Tuis and Kererus that hang out in the trees above our centre - our links to the nature that lives around us.

I love the idea of your blog (something my team isnt ready for yet) but rest assured your blog being shown to them often is changing their viewpoints on using this as a tool in linking the curriculum with the extended whanau and wider world!!!

Thanks for sharing all you do and well done on making this weekly event happen....I am attending conference next week and one of my classes thanks to your inspiration is forest kindergartens...how to make it work in your centre!!!

SO well done on all the effort and hard work you put into your programme and making the most of the environment around you!!....it is obvious and inspiring all the way from Wellington!!

Kia Kaha


TracyP said...

Another awesome Kindy Forest trip!! Love seeing photos of Abbey doing things when I'm not around, that photo of her hugging the tree is adorable!