Our Forest Sessions

“Most environmentalists cite two important factors in their childhood that led them to a passion for caring about the environment: extended unstructured time in nature and a mentor who taught them respect for nature.”

What Happens?

Tamariki accompany Kaiako to visit the beautiful ngahere that surrounds our city. Our older tamariki visit Ahumairangi, while our younger tamariki visit forested areas within the Botanic gardens.
Kaiako are there as facilitators, and encourage tamariki to explore at their own pace. Kaiako endeavour to keep the mood peaceful and full of wonder.
Boundaries will be set and kaiako will gently remind tamariki of rules that are there to keep them safe if needed.
Kaiako observe the amazing learning the tamariki unveil from this beautiful setting.

“Forest kindergartens are distinguished by several key features such a Reggio-inspired emergent curriculum, child-driven flow learning, and an inquiry-based teaching style.”

What are the Learning Possibilities?

  • Tamariki will have the chance to be in touch with mother nature, to experience the warmth of the sun, the cold of the water, the cool of the breeze, the swish of the grass, and the crunch of dry leaves.
  • They will have the chance to experience wonder and even boredom.
  • They will have the chance to create their own play, find physical challenges, find ways to move their body, meet creatures, hear birds, and create play objects from the things they find.
  • They will have the chance to feel unseen—to experience privacy in their play and feel that sense of wonder in getting fully immersed in something without interruption.

“You can’t expect the next generation to love nature without letting them experience it.”

Links to Te Whāriki

  • Believe in their own ability to learn | te rangatiratanga
  • Children see themselves as explorers, able to connect with and care for the Māori world and wider worlds | mana aotūroa
  • Enjoy playing and experimenting | te mahi tamariki
  • Move confidently and challenge themselves physically | te tu tangata
  • Use a range of strategies for problem-solving | te rangahau
  • Make sense of their worlds by developing working theories | te mātauranga
  • Know how to keep themselves healthy | te oranga nui
  • Understand how to keep themselves safe from harm | te mana mauri
  • Children understand their own mana atuatanga—uniqueness and spiritual connectedness | mana atua
  • Children’s relationship to Papatūānuku is based on whakapapa, respect and aroha | mana whenua
  • Make connections between people, places, and things in their world | te whanaungatanga
  • Take part in caring for this place | te turangawaewae