Arkie Education

What is the bush kinder program?

The Bush Kinder Program is an educational system that implements the notion of learning through experience and creating new opportunities for children to engage with outdoor free play. Outdoor free play which provides children with the time to explore, play and learn, allows children to make sense of the world and their place within it.

As the world continues to change with the progression of technology and shifts in our home environments, our younger generations experience less outdoor and active play. The lives of children today are significantly different to what things looked like a mere generation ago.  Our fear for children’s safety has limited children’s ability to roam freely and consequently limited their exposure to risk.

Including the Bush Kinder Program at Arkie, ensures that children have nature rich, meaningful experiences with the natural environment and a more autonomous learning experience

The more risks children are allowed to take, the better they learn to look after themselves

Roald Dahl

The key components that make up the Bush Kinder program

At Arkie we believe that children cannot singlehandedly learn about risk through a textbook or story sharing. The idea that setbacks, mistakes, and failures are the best teachers for children to become resourceful, confident, innovative and resilient individuals, is the core foundation of our Bush Kinder program. 

When children are encouraged to take risks, they develop a sense of independence and are exposed to a broader framework from which to develop their unique set of skills and abilities. They learn to assess risks themselves and to make decisions about what is safe and what is not.  Children are never forced to participate but are encouraged to make their own choices based on the level of risk they feel comfortable with.  The Bush Kinder program inspires the shift of viewing risks and failures as a negative experience to a positive learning outcome.  

The specific learning activities / opportunities that are included in our Bush Kinder program available to the children at Arkie include:

  • Using real tools in our woodwork atelier
  • Climbing trees
  • Playing with mud
  • Interacting with fire
  • Playing with sticks and loose parts
  • Bare feet time
  • Experiencing all weather – “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes”
  • Providing children with natural outdoor learning spaces

 

These activities provide a balanced approach to learning that allows children to take calculated risks which helps them overcome their fears and see how far they can push themselves.