As part of our play- based curriculum, we include regular visits to our shallow creek that is located very close to our preschool. This time to explore in nature gives the children a real connection to country.
Time at the creek provides ample opportunity for the children to nurture their creativity using just nature for play. Among many other things it also stimulates children’s physical skills and confidence in the bush that is essentially their backyard.
Many of our children live on Tuntable Falls Community and visits to the creek are part of their everyday life, so it definitely makes sense to incorporate our bush setting as part of the children’s playground.
We are very conscious that the creek environment is a risky environment. We take walkie talkies to the creek so staff are in contact at all times. The children wear reef shoes to protect their feet and hats and red UV shirts which are highly visible and also protect them from the sun.
As part of our strong philosophy around “The Rights of the Child” we involve children in rule setting to enable the children to participate in thinking about their own safety. We asked the children to think of rules to keep them safe at the creek and presented this to the children as: ”We have the right to be safe at the creek”. These are some of the rules they came up with :
* “We don’t throw rocks because we might hurt ourselves or others” (Daisy, Gypsy)
* “Stay away from the sharp toothed tadpoles” (Findlay)
* “We stay close to our teachers so we are safe”(Cello, Camilla)
* “Always check for danger” (Tyko)
* “We go to the toilet before we go to the creek” (Evey)
* “We play in the shade so we don’t get burnt” (max, Arlo)
Tuntable Falls preschool is open Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays . We are located on Tuntable Falls Community. Phone 02 66891179.