As we continue to decrease children's time and space to move and play outdoors, we are seeing a simultaneous rise in the number of children that are presenting with sensory and motor deficits. At the same time, classroom teachers are observing more and more children having trouble with attention, falling out of their seats in school, increased clumsiness, and even aggressiveness with games like tag on the playground. So, how can we reverse this alarming trend of sensory and motor issues in children? How can we ensure that children are fully engaging their body, mind, and all of their senses? Using the same philosophy that lies at the heart of her popular TimberNook program‚that nature is the ultimate sensory experience, and that psychological and physical health improves for children when they spend time outside on a regular basis‚ Angela Hanscom offers several strategies to help children thrive in outdoor environments using a therapeutic approach to nature play.
Across the world, adults are becoming ever more anxious about children's safety and well-being. Paradoxically, these anxieties can end up harming children's health, well-being, learning and development, fuelling unnecessary fears and undermining trust and confidence in ourselves and our children. How can those of us who work with children take a balanced, thoughtful approach to risk: one that honours and values children's play, their freedom of movement, and, most importantly, the relationships they have with each other and with adults? Tim's talk, based on his influential book No Fear: Growing up in a risk averse society, will help educators and service providers to revisit their thinking: to strike a better balance between protecting children from genuine threats and giving them rich, challenging opportunities to learn and grow.
Áine will share insights from almost ten years experience working with communities of all ages exploring their places. Following a place-based learning approach, which involves learning about place, in the place, for the place, this experience has shown the importance of fun and engaging activities to enhance people's connection to local places. This presentation will include some research findings as well as practical activities which anyone can carry out to help them learn more about their place in an enjoyable and playful way.
How do we build a solid foundation through nature? Children have the right to learn and play outdoors, to be active with their bodies and their minds. This workshop will explore ideas on how early childhood educators and parents can spend time outdoors in all weathers. Play does not need to be restricted because it is raining, if children have the correct clothing, they are rarely phased by the weather. Wrap up.
Under the murky waters of our bog pools, there's a hidden world of wonderful wildlife just waiting to be discovered! Pond dipping is an easy activity that is very rewarding, and most importantly lots of fun. Our man-made dipping pond at the Ballycroy Visitor Centre in the National Park is home to lots of amazing creatures. Some of these animals can even be found in garden ponds, it's just a matter of taking a look.
The overall aim of the session is to utilize the principles of alchemy in order to change one thing into an entirely different thing, that can then be used in a creative and playful way. The idea of change and transformation is not only fundamental to nature, but also fundamental to human development and understanding. Alchemical arts teach children that all life is in a process of change, and with the right mind set and magical (scientific) skills, it is possible to interact with this change. Some attributes of Alchemical art include engaging with the natural world, total absorption, fun, magic, wonder, creativity and understanding of basic principles of natural science.
"Let's go on an adventure" will get most children and maybe even teenagers at least lift their heads from their devices. A 'scavenger hunt', a 'wildlife safari' or just cloud surfing or puddle jumping are all uncomplicated activities open to ideas and variations. An adventure can start anywhere, countryside or (sub)urban area and by being creative in the outdoors it can help not just to actively reconnect to nature but also offer so much place based learning. This can convert each stroll into a meaningful journey by exploring and celebrating the plain but exciting changes in nature throughout the year. Spring is particularly interesting with so much happening when looking closely. New growth popping up everywhere inviting us to taste, smell and touch.
The seashore is full of fun and things to see and discover. We will be exploring on the rocks along the coast , looking some of the amazing small animals and seaweeds that live in rockpools. We will identify some of the common animals and seaweeds, and do some simple activities you can do with a group of children or family.
How do we keep alive a navigational tradition and set of skills that helps to define us as humans, and which gives us the capability to explore our natural environments more confidently? Tristan Gooley takes us on a journey to see the world around us a little differently, and to emerge from the experience with a new view of what it means to take more control of our adventures in nature. Before there was the compass and GPS, there was the art and craft of navigating by the sun, stars, water, and wind. Based in the UK, Tristan is “The Natural Navigator” and has led expeditions on five continents, helping to inspire new generations to retain this timeless set of navigational skills and natural understanding.