Sandy Feet Beach Kinder has been adapted from the "Forest School philosophy"
“Forest School is an inspirational process, offering children and young people opportunities to achieve, developing confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment” (FSLI).
How it begun?
When a virus spread through our village and impacted our lives in ways we never thought possible. I was forced to really contemplate what was important to me and my family.
Spending time in nature is the way I decompress. Walking on the sand, surfing, snorkeling and visiting our bush block are all ways I was filling up my wellbeing cup.
I began to watch my own children in nature, playing independently for hours and I witnessed their freedom, creativity, risk taking and mental wellbeing flourish.
I wanted to create a space for families to go regularly, meet up with others and reconnect back with nature. Decompress, reconnect and flourish.
As a society we are spending more and more time indoors, sedentary and using devices. There is an increase in mental health problems and our children are becoming more anxious. I want to offer regular sessions for children and their families to reconnect with nature and each other. I believe learning about your local place, watching the season change and how that affects our environment is a way to develop a sense of stewardship.
I want these sessions to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity and by using all our senses we get to explore taste (seaweed), touch (shells and sand), sound (waves and bird call), and smell (salty air) through the marine world.
Preschool aged children are developing their sense of self and socialising with others, learning to make new friendships, and sharing and listening are all important developmental skills before the start school. The ocean offers an environment that calms the mind and gives us space to work on these skills.
People all around the world are leading the way with nature-based programs that offer free play and child led learning in a natural setting. Evidence based research shows children in these programs become more emotionally, socially, and physically resilient.