Month: February 2014

Project Wild Thing

Project Wild Thing Last night, some of the educators from Flinders went to watch a documentary called Project Wild Thing. The film was made by a British man named David Bond who is worried about children becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and instead spending time ‘plugged in’ to screens and digital media. David Bond dubbed himself Head of Marketing for Nature and began a nationwide marketing campaign to promote play in natural spaces. This campaign has since become an international movement, which you can read about on the website. Obviously living in Adelaide does not pose the same challenges to accessing natural spaces as living in London does, however many of the reasons why people spend less time outdoors were similar. The Project Wild Thing website offers a range of apps and play ideas to support families to begin spending more time outdoors. There is even an app where you can put in the amount of time you have available and a range of outdoor play ideas are suggested. You can also check out the trailer for the film and join the Wild community. We understand that this might not be for everyone, but we were excited by the film and excited by the Wild Thing movement; at Flinders we love being outdoors and this project is a great way to share our joy! Being outside in natural spaces, fostering a connection to nature, has been shown to have a myriad of benefits for humans regardless of age. Children whoRead more

Why Natural Resources?

Natural resources are a big deal in early childhood education at the moment. It seems every catalogue, blog and article is talking about the importance of natural resources for children. But why? The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) states; “Materials enhance learning when they reflect what is natural…Environments and resources can also highlight our responsibilities for a sustainable future and promote children’s understanding about their responsibility to care for the environment. They can foster hope, wonder and knowledge about the natural world.” (pg. 16) The National Quality Standard (NQS) talks about the role of natural resources too, highlighting the need for children to have access to natural elements such as rocks, sticks, sand and water. When we consider that the NQS and the EYLF are our guiding documents in early childhood, we must acknowledge that natural resources are a requirement for high quality education. These documents are based on contemporary research and it is our legal requirement to follow them. But more than that, from a pedagogical perspective natural resources provide children with so many more opportunities for creativity and imagination in their play. Natural resources provide a range of textures and possibilities for children to explore within their play. They are flexible, open ended, aesthetic and unique. Traditional early childhood toys such as those mass produced from plastic do not offer the myriad opportunities that natural resources do. Generally speaking, mass produced, manufactured children’s toys tell children how to play with them; they resemble something so closely that itRead more