Walk out the gate – bush and city adventures
Place/Country-responsive play, non-human play, biodiversity, ecosystems, habitat, weather, water, soil, bugs, insects, native animals, navigation
Rainbow Valley Early Learning and Rise Early Learning
Leaving the centre grounds was also common practice for many of our participating centres, including both rural and city centres. At Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre in the outskirts of Gladstone, the educators and children frequently walk out the back gate and down to the patch of bush behind the centre. Here they engage with local place and community, observe seasonal changes, collect firewood for fires back at the centre, undertake risky play and much more. Often the children and educators decide on a question or focus for the walk, for example focusing on honing their gaze to look up, or down, or watch out for specific features/ animals etc. In contrast, Rise Early Learning Centre is located on level 3 of a high rise building in the middle of Surfer’s Paradise. The educators at Rise are committed to taking children out into the community to engage in bush and beach kindy, swimming and visits to the local library. Given many of their children live in apartments, the centre director and educators feel it is important to provide access to local natural spaces and community members.