Learning through nature

A topic close to my heart and at the heart of my design philosophy. Nature Based Play is about exploring the world through our natural environment. It’s about giving opportunity for children to explore, discover and engage with nature.

It’s about design and a construction process based on the predominant use of locally available natural materials and ‘earth forming’ techniques to create places of engagement, adventure and exploration.  It incorporates the use of the natural topography to provide a sensory experience with a variety of natural elements to encourage open-ended exploration.

Examples of Nature Based Playgrounds that Seed Landscape Design has designed can be found at our local C&K Kindergarten in Red Hill and Oakleigh.

Here we worked with the natural contours of the land to thoughtfully design a yard that incorporated a mud pit, natural watercourse, edible garden, worm farm with a natural flow that respects the micro climates within the space.

Executive Director, Belinda Ross of C&K Red Hill Kindergarten believes that the thoughtful design that has incorporated zones outdoors allows children to interact with the environment on their own or in small groups. `They provide a place away from more active areas like climbing equipment, the sandpit and digging patches. It’s these spaces that allow children to feel safe and secure whilst interacting in small groups thus enhancing their sense of belonging’.

At Rainworth State School, Seed Landscape Design help to create an interactive nature based play space. In an under-utilised space behind the prep buildings, existing trees, logs and boulders were used to develop a space for play and lessons. Batches from the surrounding trees are used by the children in a variety of imaginative ways. 

Following on from the words of Albert Einstein `Imagination is more important than knowledge’. And giving children the chance to explore and play amongst nature offers opportunity for scientific investigation, problem solving, and learning.