Nature Pedagogy


“Nature is a powerful teacher.” – Claire Warden


We live in a fast pace world filled with instant gratification, as technology is consistently advancing it is also pulling us away from an organic, sustainable life style. Resulting in an unrealistic world where our children are beginning to lose touch with nature.


Cornubia park early learning has encompassed nature play as a vital right that all children should have access to. Our nature pedagogy consists of messy play, hands on learning and natural risks. We want our children to embody independence through exploration,  develop a love of learning though curiosity, make and overcome mistakes.


Nature play about a connection – not only with the land but with people.


At Cornubia Park:

  • We will extend on children’s understanding of the environment and natural surroundings
  • Acknowledge the Aboriginal land and culture.
  • Educate the children on reconnecting and appreciating nature whilst encouraging teambuilding and turn taking.
  • Promote activities that encourage exploration and inspire children’s current knowledge and interests.
  • Participate and present organic experiences to model a healthy lifestyle. E.g. healthy food choices, cultivating and sporting activities.
  • Use wooden/ natural toys to emulate imagination and expression
  • Repurpose materials to encourage sustainability. E.g. egg cartons as mini seed planters

We are passionate about conserving our natural world for future generations. With this attitude in mind we encourage a “leave no trace” approach by educating our teachers, families and children the benefits of this theory.


Improving Children’s outcomes with a nature play pedagogy


  • Nature play encourages children to participate in physical activities outdoors as children and families are limited to the access of natural environments at home Centres that adopt this theory evidently support various physical developmental areas
  • many parents reported that their child had a greater interest in nature and positive attitudes developed their overall emotional wellbeing.
  • Children are more likely to initiate collaborative play and demonstrating behaviours of respect, support and understanding with their peers and teachers.
  • Dr Sue Elliot’s research identified a higher respect and equity – educators and teachers observed less gender stereotyped play at the service premises where a more natural play approach was promoted
  • Curiosity – Nature play aligns with the approved learning frameworks outcome that highlights ‘children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflectivity’.
  • Children changed the way they interacted with the environment and spent periods of time sitting, reflecting and participating in philosophical discussions with peers, educators and teachers.
  • Creativity – Parents described that at home, children became less dependent on manufactured toys, and instead collected rocks, twigs and other natural materials for innovative and creative play.


(Reference: Chancellor, B, and Elliott, S. (2014) From Forest Preschool to Bush Kinder, in Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, Volume 39, No. 4 December 2014.)



Nature Play Webinar


ACECQA: Quality Area 1: Article – The How and Why of Nature Play Programs


Nature play conditions

Children will probably get dirty (Nature Play includes mud and climbing logs) and may get wet (and remember there is no bad weather only bad/ unsuitable clothing) so we would advise play clothes and weather appropriate jackets (with waterproof coverall pants being supplied by kindy).

Sneakers are the best footwear, with gumboots and umbrellas brought for rainy day walks, and a change of clothes provided. You may like to purchase a second-hand rain jacket in an Op Shop so that children are not restricted by having to stay “clean”.

In addition there are safety vests to pull on over clothing to make children highly visible. Remember children may be hungrier than usual in colder weather and in the open air so expect developing children with our nutritional menu, home cooked and designed to promote growth.

Children and staff are likely to be engaged in nature, creating memories that will stay with them for a lifetime.