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At the heart of Bush Play Connections is the innate human need for connection. Connection with the children, connection to the Earth and connection within community.
I am called to create opportunities for the children and their families to meet up in nature for play, fun, to learn and for connect to country. I have 27 years’ experience working within the children services sector, the last two working directly with the children again, writing and facilitating a wellness program in several long day care services in Canberra.
What I learnt about myself and children during the last few years combined with a lifelong understanding of children’s learning had inspired Bush Play Connections and the Wellness Program(Bush Play for Wellness) I am writing for children and their families, as well as, for children currently in Early Childhood Programs and their educators
The foundations of this framework are based on some primary beliefs I hold.
Parents are children’s first and most important teacher (EYLF)
Us human, especially children learn intrinsically and as innately as breathing. Every day brings learning, growing and an emerging sense of identity and becoming. Our subconscious beliefs and values as well as our self-talk habits are established in the early years. This early learning is usually from direct observation of life and experiences that happen to and around the child with adults, siblings, peers and the community. All happenings, environmental factors, feelings, words and body language that the child sees, hears and interprets forms a sense of identity and self-beliefs.
It takes a community to raise a child
You only have to look back into humanities history and to all indigenous cultures to see that connection to the Earth, to each other and having a sense of belonging are essential for human wellness and to feeling safe, secure and supported in life. Humans in our nature are social creatures and it takes the life wisdom’s, advice, teachings, guidance, care, love and attention of many to support the children. The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) says “Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighborhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationship in defining identities”
Children and capable and competent learners (EYLF)
Us humans are hardwired for learning. Children’s learning and well-being are enhanced when they experience their world with sense of agency within an environment that supports clearly communicated routines, boundaries and nutritional guidance as well as time and space for play, rest and ritual.
Play is children’s learning and its within play that children can practice what who they are. Its in play that children learn about cooperation, coordination and negotiation. Its in play where children can build resilience, practice emotional expression and so much more. Children are so good at ‘being’ in the present moment and most certainly can teach us adults about being in the here and now. The EYLF states “Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. Its is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others. engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life.