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Play and nature

Friederich Froebel was a pioneering educator who invented kindergarten.

He emphasised that children should experience all aspects of nature, not just plants and animals. One of the best ways children can experience nature, he argued, is through their play outdoors in the garden and in the wider natural environment. Through real life experiences, children learn about the interrelationship of all living things. This helps them to think about the bigger questions of the environment, sustainability and climate change. In nature, children can learn to make connections between what is known and what is new as long as they are accompanied by someone else who shares an enthusiasm and curiosity about nature and who can inspire and support their enquiries.

This includes babies and toddlers who can benefit enormously from an outdoor environment that offers opportunities to encounter a range of multi-sensory play experiences in nature with knowledgeable, nurturing adults who make it possible for them to manipulate their environment, to explore and to engage in a range of behaviours.


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