Is there anything happening in this part of the world (Sydney, Australia) ? I have two young daughters (below school age) and would like to be able to spread the ideas of the c&nn around here.
It makes me really sad to see what we are doing to our kids- ferrying them around in cars, strapping them in strollers. As a family we try and get out to local parks and national parks when we can. Most people in Australia live in cities I would like to do something for those kids.
Hoping there is something here that people can let me know about.
Hi Christina, I'm not sure if this helps but we have a preschool in Sydney that is strongly influenced by our belief in connecting children to nature. Kids are free to play outdoors all day if they choose to, and most days we take them into the neighbouring bushland, which we value as an extension of our learning environment.
I too am looking for people to connect with - that is why I started up my blog (and how I initially found out about C&NN. You might like to take a look at it:
I've noticed just in the last few months more articles are slowly creeping into the mainstream media which is heartening. Just yesterday in the SMH Spectrum section there was an article on Richard Louv called (I think) Let them Climb Trees.
Thanks. I would love to see more pre-schools like yours existing. I also like the idea of the family groups where people can get together and explore a local park/ reserve.
I'm thinking of passing on the info from c&nn to a few local councils in my area. Marrickville council is quite progressive. I dont really know how I want to get involved but it would be lovely to have a group of like-minded people in Sydney (and Australia wide)
I feel so sorry for these kids and the childhood they are having. They will never have the freedom we had (well at least for me- I grew up in the 70's and played in the creek, played out with friends with no supervision and swam in the river etc) but I have decided I want to do something. There's so much fear and anxiety and pressure and its all being transfered to the kids. This is a situation which may just relate to the inner suburbs. The kids at your pre-school are really lucky!
Great to see some fellow Aussies here. Im in Melbourne and was fortunate to go to the Healthy Parks Healthy People International Congress to hear Richard Lourve and many others speak on the topic. Amazing discussions going on now and things we have been interested in for years. Check out our website www.peninsulawildthings.com for some of the things weve been up to. I would love to see a lot more going on in our beautiful country.
If you get a group of kindred spirits from down under who want to share ideas, suggestions, challenges about getting children outside to play in the natural world, you could form your own Group site, like Juliet Robertson did in Scotland, and grow the movement with your own social networking group. I don't want to segment people too much on the Children & Nature social networking site because there are no boundaries to good ideas on connecting children with nature. Scotland has certainly shown this, and so have the Aussies who have been so active on this site, and others. Just a suggestion. Sorry about the soccer game with Germany. Come back strong.
Christina: That is a good idea about passing the info onto councils. I think I might do the same thing. It is also a bit of a dream to run a school holiday program at our school, open to everyone, which is heavily nature based with bush walks, cubby building etc and a little bit of the Gever Tulley style tinkering school stuff thrown in.
Kylie, I would have loved to have gone to the conference - lucky you :) I'm off to check out your link.
John, thanks for your input. I'd love to find more Australians, just to know what is happening in this area and how they are doing it. And yes, fingers crossed for the soccer :)