The City of Port Phillip are working closely with the Port Phillip Eco Centre to see how we can support the establishment of nature play/beach/bush playgroups in Port Phillip.
What is a nature play playgroup?
A group of families that meet in a regular natural environment (e.g. a quiet corner of a local park, a small neighbourhood creek, or the beach) and connect to nature and their children through play. Meeting regularly gives children the opportunity to play outside often, in all weather conditions, and to build on prior play.
Why is this important?
The opportunity to experience play in a natural environment is recognised as a critical component of early childhood development. During community consultations last year for the Children’s Services Policy Development, the community (including children themselves) told us that helping children access natural environments was important. This is reflected in Every Child, Our Future: Children’s Services Policy, under Policy Objective 7: Children will have access to natural environments that allow them to learn about and experience play in nature. This includes natural environments within early years’ services.
Who will this be suited to?
All families who live, work or visit the City of Port Phillip are invited to get involved. Playgroups are suited to families with pre-school aged children (from birth to school age). You may already be connected to a playgroup and want to find out how you can incorporate some nature play activities, or you may not know anyone in the area. Everyone is welcome!
Ok, I’m interested. What do I do now?
- Sign up to our Nature Play Playgroup mailing list to receive updates firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are planning a 2.5 hour information session for parents that will involve an educational component (a neuro developmental therapist providing insight into how the brain works and how easy it is to incorporate nature play-based, brain enhancing activities into playgroup settings) and a practical session where an educator from the Port Phillip Eco Centre will lead us through activities such as sensory garden storytelling, minibeast safari, and exploring the indigenous forest in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens. We would like to schedule this session to suit as many parents as possible, so please indicate your preferred time of the week through this poll: https://doodle.com/poll/yz8d7f7hur2grg2r
- Like the Family, Youth and Children Facebook page to stay connected on this, and other activities and services for families in Port Phillip. https://www.facebook.com/CoPP.FYC/