Why Your Child Needs Immersive Outdoor Experiences
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
3w ago
It’s no secret that children need immersive experiences in nature to thrive. But here's the thing - Nature needs children, too. “Children’s knowledge of biodiversity is in decline at a time when we need future generations to be more engaged and aware in order to halt its loss. There is a very real need to educate our children as the future guardians of our planet, to provide them with the knowledge they need today to preserve the natural world for tomorrow.”  Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity   But sadly, at a time wh ..read more
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Why Children Need Strong Role Models: Learning from Survival Expert Rick J Petersen
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
1M ago
The cast of Alone Australia Season 2, featuring Rick J Petersen on far left. In a dynamic and fast-paced world, it's crucial for children to have strong role models who can inspire and guide them through life's challenges. One such role model is Rick J Petersen, a bushcraft and survival educator and former SAS soldier. RIck is not only a master survivalist, he’s a wise and supportive mentor - and our resident survival expert at Wildlings Forest School. In 2022, our leadership team headed out bush with Rick for 3.5 days of professional development, team building and nature connection. It was s ..read more
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The Screen Time Struggle: Why Nature Should Reign Supreme During School Holidays
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
1M ago
Screens empower us to do incredible things - but there’s no doubt they are having an impact on children’s growth and development. Screen time usage in childhood is on the rise, with new findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics suggesting that screen time could be robbing the average three-year-old of 1,100 adult words, 840 vocalisations and 194 conversations a day. Researchers have also warned parents to beware of "technoference" — a term for screens and devices getting in the way of the conversations that help children develop a range of key educational ..read more
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Death & Decay at Forest School
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
1M ago
I dig a small hole with the heel of my boot in the soft, sandy earth and lay the small body of the dead possum in it. The children gently cover the body with soil, and say “Goodbye, Possum.” A child asks what will happen to it? A parent says mushrooms will grow.  We agree that it will break down and go back to the earth. Miss E suggests we pick flowers for the grave. We look around, see some yellow Singapore Daisies on the side of the field where we found the body, and pick a couple each. The children wander back and place some flowers on the grave.  We share a moment of silence toge ..read more
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Presence > Presents: Why Nature Play Birthday Parties Are The Ultimate Gift
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
2M ago
Kids don’t need more presents… In a world where consumerism often reigns supreme, finding meaningful ways to celebrate our children's birthdays while avoiding the excess can feel like a daunting task. But what if I told you there's a magical solution that not only reduces consumerism but also creates lasting memories and fosters a deeper connection with nature? Enter the nature play birthday party – a delightful celebration that prioritises experiences over material possessions and reminds us that "kids don't need more presents – they need more presence." Embracing the Gift of Experiences: L ..read more
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Coming Home to the Village
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
2M ago
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” - Gary Snyder Yesterday was our first day back at Kindy on the Sunshine Coast - and we were absolutely blown away by the turnout from our community. Rarely have we experienced a first week like this - our session was fully booked with old and new friends braving the mud to gather in circle once more. Down the muddy path we went, past Grandma Fig, over the fallen log, and around the mat, hands and voices raised in song as we greeted the forest. It’s always magical - but this day was extra. Maybe it was the anticipation of waiting so long to return t ..read more
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Slowing Down Childhood
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
3M ago
In the hustle of daily life, the special moments of our kids' early years can sometimes slip away too fast. As parents, we all wish to slow things down and truly soak in the magic of childhood. We’ve all felt it. Either with our own kids, or with children in our extended family webs. One day their little round face is staring up at you while they placidly shove sand in their mouth, and then boom! The next time you see them, they’re talking about the waves they surfed that morning and that soft baby chub has disappeared to reveal long, strong limbs ready to take on the world. All too fast, our ..read more
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Diary of a Playworker: Summer Reflections
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
3M ago
That’s a wrap on our summer school holiday programs! We did it - we made it through our biggest summer holidays yet. And as a humble playworker, I want to acknowledge what a privilege it has been to spend time with these incredible kids, outdoors, in all sorts of weather conditions, laughing, playing, creating, and connecting with nature. Yes, it’s light-hearted and playful, but it’s also deeply meaningful and profound. I write this purely from my perspective - hi, I’m Ellen. I’m a supervisor on the Sunshine Coast, and I’ve been lucky enough to take part in holiday programs since mid-2020. Wit ..read more
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The Power of Child-Led Play: Nurturing Growth and Development in Children
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
3M ago
if we want to raise the leaders of tomorrow, we need to let them be leaders in their own lives today. Far more than a simple pastime, child-led play is a cornerstone of development, fostering a myriad of skills that lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning. What is Child-led play? Child-led play is an approach where children take the reins in directing their own play experiences. In this open-ended exploration, youngsters choose the games, activities, and toys they want to engage with, fostering a sense of autonomy and independence. Rather than adults orchestrating the play, caregivers s ..read more
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Embracing Nature's Elements: The Power of All-Weather Outdoor Play for Kids
Wildlings Forest School Blog
by Ellen Nesbitt
3M ago
Is the weather a barrier when considering outdoor play with your kids? Research has revealed a range of benefits for kids when they play outside in all weather conditions, including boosting their immune systems, providing healthy doses of Vitamin D, and positively impacting their ecological literacy. Children, like nature itself, are vibrant, dynamic beings meant to explore the full spectrum of weather conditions. From the warmth of a summer breeze to the crispness of autumn leaves, and the soft patter of raindrops to frosty evenings by the campfire, every weather element presents an opportun ..read more
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