Let's get outdoors!
What is a Bush Playgroup?
A Bush Playgroup is much like a traditional Playgroup in that it is an inclusive, informal opportunity for families to get together and play, except it is held outside and focused on exploring nature. Bush Playgroups often involve an age-appropriate walk to discover new places and natural wonders, such as waterfalls, giant trees, ponds or woodlands. Bush Playgroup leaders generally have some outdoor/bush skills so that they can keep the group safe and help everyone make the most of their time in nature.
Why would I go to a Bush Playgroup rather than a regular Playgroup?
There is much international research that suggests increased nature play time is vital to both human connections with nature, and healthy brain growth. At the playgroup age, bush play is great for increasing gross and fine motor skills, for balance and movement, and for building nature knowledge.
Zoë Metherell is one of the playgroup leaders at bush playgroup in Victoria. Over the years she has experienced the many benefits for the families who attend.
“Attending playgroup outdoors, in natural environments, is wonderful for children of all ages and suits different abilities and interests. For example, a baby will enjoy watching the trees swaying above in the wind, a child learning to walk can practice on hills and all different surfaces (pebbles, leaves, grasses and rocks), and as the children grow older they learn to climb bigger rocks and trees. But this all happens, almost in the background, as children play and develop their own games.”
“As parents, we also enjoy socialising with other families, just like at any playgroup. But we find that meeting outdoors, it is more relaxed (there are no toys to fight over) and we are mentally recharged. Lots of research shows the benefits of spending time in nature but going out there each week, you realise it’s true!”
There are no bush play groups near me... How do I set one up?
We’re so glad you asked! Download a copy of the Wild Things Play Group Setup Guide here and then drop us a line or give us a call – we’d love to help you get set up!