Why Natural Playgrounds
‘Why Natural Playgrounds’, will focus on connecting children to nature where and when they play. It will cover what a natural playground is, why it is important, the most relevant data and research, and some of the best examples of natural playgrounds from around the world.
Most importantly the participants will experience 6 hands on activities that they can take back to their classrooms. Our final activity will be to engage the participants in goal setting so that connecting children to nature is not just a dream but becomes a reality.
Designing a Natural Playground
Naturalizing your playground brings nature to your outdoor space and if it is well planned will provide children opportunities to promote physical, cognitive, creative, and social skills. In groups of 8, participants will be able to create 3-D design models of a natural playground out of sand and mini components. The designs will be presented and discussed.
Quick and Dirty
The workshop ‘Quick and Dirty’ will focus on 12 ways to naturalize your playground without the need to spend thousands of dollars for a brand new playground. From choosing materials, to sourcing them for cheap, to how to configure them and speak to your inspector to make them compliant, we will make natural play a viable option for any playground.
Getting Past the Grown Ups
This workshop, ‘how to get past the grown-ups’ will focus on barriers that stop us from providing environments that provide settings that challenge and promote optimal child development while connecting to nature. Learn what to challenge and how to push back to make it work for everyone.
The workshop will continue to focus on connecting children to nature where and when they play. It will cover what a natural playground is, why it is important, the most relevant data and research, and some of the best examples of natural playgrounds from around the world.
Presenter: Adam Bienenstock
Duration: 1 - 1.5 Hours
Extending Curriculum Outside
Get ready to play! Participants will experience 12 hands on activities that they can take back to their centres. This workshop will focus on how to deliver curriculum outside to children of all ages. It will emphasize making the most of what you already have while adding simple ideas and strategies to ensure success for both children and educators. Get ready to play.
If I Had a Hammer
Woodworking with young children is a lost art. Many educators cringe at the word and start to visualize cut fingers and flying hammers. Get pass your fears and come join this workshop to find out how to make it happen.
Come discover how woodworking uses math, problem-solving, fine motor, and social skills, while fostering creativity and imagination. In this workshop we will review the importance of woodworking, understand where to start, the tool s to use, safety protocols to implement, and try a dozen hands on activities to bring to back your centre.
Back to Nature Series
These workshops focus in the simplicity that nature has to offer in any playground. Learn the basics of gardening and combining these with your programming. Simple and easy is the focus with a big outcome for the kids. There are 4 workshops in this series, one for the beginning of each season:
Natural Playground Restoration Series
In this workshop series you discover how to restore your natural playground. Learn how to keep up with your ever changing natural playground. Let us show you how to combine straightforward maintenance tasks with your curriculum. This simple combination allows your programming to occur naturally with each season while easily maintaining your natural playground.
Create family nights to reinforce the wonders of nature with the support of your community. We teach you the basics of gardening by reviewing how to plant, divide and trim your perennials and shrubs. Clean up your garden beds and create new ones at no cost to the school/ centre by merely dividing your plants and a little muscle.
There are 4 workshops in this series, one for the beginning of each season:
Staff Training for a Natural Playground
This workshop will focus on the newly installed natural playground. We will review their newly installed natural playground and the intention and potential of each area. The workshop continue to focus on providing staff knowledge and confidence to personalize and utilize their outdoor space as another learning environment where children can engage in all areas of development.