Nature Play Workshop for Early Years Educators
Oct 2, 2018
This workshop for Early Years Educators will provide theoretical and practical knowledge and ideas to embed regular outdoor learning opportunities in early learning environments. Topics will include:
- The importance of nature play
- Risk and outdoor play
- Engaging staff and parents to support outdoor play
Most importantly, participants will have the opportunity to engage in fun and easy-to-replicate nature play activities including a nature story walk, loose parts play, and an enchanted forest scavenger hunt.
Prizes! Also, SaskOutdoors will provide three Nature Play Kits (valued at $150 each) as prizes to three lucky participants! The kits contain a variety of materials, resources and activities to support nature play in early learning environments. The kits were funded by an EcoFriendly Sask Action Grant. Thank you EcoFriendly Sask!
Zoe trained and worked as a Forest School Leader (Level 3) in the UK, facilitating nature-based, child-centred learning for children aged 3-18. She also holds a Bachelor of Education with specialization in Outdoor and Experiential Education. She is passionate about helping others to find meaningful connections with nature.
Karen Robinson, BA, BEd, was inspired to wander out of the formal classroom and into the forest after 17 years of teaching Grades 1-3 in Airdrie, Alberta, at Atikameg Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta, and in the rural community of Beausejour, Manitoba. She is the owner and director of A Place For Wonder KinderCare, based at Ecole River Heights School in Saskatoon, which she started in 2013. After attending Forest School Canada’s 5 day outdoor intensive Forest Practitioner’s Course in 2014, she knew she needed to continue on the journey of working with children outdoors to nurture their connections to nature in a safe, risk-taking environment, and fosters in them a sense of belonging to community, and the importance of stewardship and sustainability.
Shannon has spent 28 years as an Early Childhood Educator. Prior to that she worked in Renewable Resources, first as a Fisheries Officer in Northern Manitoba and then as a Forestry Technician in Northern Saskatchewan. She always wanted to blend her passion for children with her passion for nature. After attending Forest School Canada's outdoor practitioners training in Kananaskis, AB in 2014, she realized her vision could become a reality, and that the value of instilling nature into the life of a child would become her mission. She now follows that path with Karen Robinson at A Place For Wonder KinderCare at Ecole River Heights School.
Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Place: Outside at Kinsmen Park, Saskatoon. Meet by the trees in the north area of the park (north of the Nutrien Playland concession building & parking lot). The area is behind City Hospital. Free parking is available in the main Nutrien Playland parking accessed via Spadina Crescent. Please note that washrooms are not available on site (the nearest washrooms are at City Hospital). The workshop will take place rain, snow or shine!
Cost: $20 for SaskOutdoors Members or $25 for Non-Members. Learn more about the benefits of a SaskOutdoors membership.
Registration is Now Closed
The Importance of Nature Play
For children, play is learning. There is no better space for kids to learn than the outdoors, and there is no better play resource than nature.
Children need to spend more time in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. Playing outdoors is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood.
Nature play significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more. It encourages the joy of movement, it nurtures wild imaginations, experimentation, friendships, social connections and behaviour. Experiences in nature as a child also leads to environmental awareness and stewardship later in life (Nature Play QLD).