Barefoot Nature Play provides outdoor play programs during the school holidays and at a number of events throughout the term. Our programs are designed for primary school age children and run for five days. Children can come for a single day, a few days or for the full five days. If you book for a single day though, be prepared for some serious nagging on the drive home (or the occasional wobbly at the sign out desk) about coming back the next day and the next day and the next day. Whilst we do not condone or encourage nagging or wobblies, we just can’t stop the Barefoot Kids from having so much fun that they want to keep coming back.
We have wonderfully talented staff and sheds full of natural and organic play equipment that is carefully and purposefully selected to spark the imagination of even the most sceptical or indoor-sy child. Each day at Barefoot Nature Play we start with a plan but are always amazed and thrilled how our adventures twist and turn depending on the imagination and interests of our Barefoot Kids. One day we are making boats out of walnut shells, the next having potato sack races and then we find ourselves racing through time in a “Back to the Future” style time machine….our adventures are limited only by the creativity and imagination of our Barefoot Kids.
To explain Barefoot Nature Play in a bit more detail, here’s the thoughts of Harry who is 11 years old. Harry is one of our Barefoot Kids who came to the Time Travellers Program in January 2016.
Barefoot was all about getting outside… no indoors and just seeing what it’s like to be outside - no electronics and using things around you like sticks, stones and other stuff to make all sort of different things like time machines, axes etc. Kind of like Minecraft, but using the things in your environment.
I had lots of fun. The best thing was when we built a time machine. We built it out of pipes, tyres and other stuff we found. My friend and I had the idea and we all worked together to make it happen. We did other stuff too. We went fishing, played in the creek... my sister really liked playing in the mud.
There was this really cool cubby house. I don’t know who built it but it was good fun. We had a camp area which was like our headquarters.
I learnt that being outside is more fun than you think because I always thought outside was really boring. Barefoot taught me that going outside is very, very fun. It made me use my mind to do other things rather than just watching tv or playing on my gadgets, which Mum & Dad hates
Barefoot Nature Play programs have been developed by a paediatric occupational therapist with over 20 years experience.
Barefoot Nature Play provides opportunities for the development of the whole child. Children who are given these opportunities are more likely to:
- Be playful and have fun
- Socialize, consider others and show empathy
- Think outside the box
- Solve their own problems or ask for help
- Discover, practice and master new skills
- Create, innovate and be flexible
- Consider a variety of options and be adaptable
- Communicate and negotiate
- Stick with something until it's finished
- Be self directed and self regulated
- Develop their imagination
Barefoot Nature Play programs are currently offered at:
St Paul’s School
34 Strathpine Road
Bald Hills, Qld, 4036
St Paul’s Anglican School is located on 125 acres at Bald Hills in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Beyond the school buildings, you’ll find areas of bushland, mudpits and wide open spaces on the east bank of the South Pine River. If you are lucky you’ll see one of the resident koalas who have been reintroduced to the wild by the Koala Rescue team.
Pullenvale State School
120 Grandview Rd
Pullenvale Qld 4069
Pullenvale lies within a small, shallow valley bound by an arc of rocky hills peaking at Mt Elphinstone. Its eroded valley walls and floor guide Pullen Pullen Creek along meandering pathways to the Brisbane River. Whether the creek is running or dry it will tempt us to explore and forage. As we explore, we’ll keep an eye out for any number of animals that live around Pullenvale State School including possums, many varieties of birds and if you’re lucky you might spot a green tree frog or even a platypus!