Bringing nature inside for free play

Bringing nature inside for free play

Key words:

Imaginative play, slow play, non-human play, creative play, habitat, living things, geology, soil, ecosystems, habitat, construction


nGundanoo Imbabee C & K


At C & K nGundanoo Imbabee in north Rockhampton, the children found a big log outside and decided they wanted to bring it inside. They wanted to make a habitat for the animals, and collected additional natural materials including sticks and leaves to create the habitat. They also gathered insect, frog and dinosaur toys, as well as magnifying glasses to observe the natural materials more closely. Different children interacted with the natural habitat each day, and engaged in diverse play in response to this natural environment indoors. Educator Tracey explained that multiple play scenarios were enacted simultaneously – predominantly imaginative play where children pretended to be dinosaurs, campers, or insect mums and dads for example. Conversations about habitat, conservation, needs of living things, seasons and much more were facilitated through this process of bringing natural materials indoors. This example is a powerful reminder that nature play is not limited to the outdoors.