Wild Ones Mindfulness & Nature Play
Psychological thriving through community, connection, and nature play.
Join us for a term-time or holiday session of Wild Ones Mindfulness and Nature Play.
A Bit About Us
Wild Ones Mindfulness and Nature Play is a term-time program for little humans. We connect, we play, and usually- we get muddy. We are bush kindy with a focus on social and emotional learning, weaved through our ethos and story time.
Melanie is the founder and key playworker, and has worked for decades using play in children's hospitals across the state and in camp programs for teens experiencing cancer, bereavement, and grief. She holds university qualifications in psychology, positive psychology, adolescent wellbeing, and paediatric palliative care, and brings her research mind to constantly sourcing new concepts and ideas for the sessions.
A typical session might start with children choosing their activity, perhaps using loose parts such as ropes, pulleys and tarps to make secret cubbies, working together to crack open some tough seed pods, or creating magical potions in the mud kitchen. Most weeks there are real tools to engage with, a craft offering and paints, and story time that centres around a psychological concept- but the kids just think it's fun!
Melanie has also trained in rhythm and movement for self regulation- a program of songs and moves that target neural pathways in the brain- and children's yoga. These are frequent offerings in the sessions, though we are very much child-led and all activity offerings are 'challenge by choice'. This is space for kids to be kids!
I signed us up for bush kindy in the hope that it may be a space for my sons to decompress and heal from the stress and trauma that they had experienced from living in a covid-hotspot for almost a year. Each visit to bush kindy was just what their nervous systems needed. I have watched them decompress, join in with others more, and grow in confidence.
There is no expectation to perform or participate in activities if you don't want to. I find that extremely freeing in a world that demands so much of little ones. In nature, there is less expectation of the children and I would say, of the parents as well! Watching my children enjoy nature, reminds me of the importance of nature for our own wellbeing and how we sometimes forget that as we rush from one thing to another. Nature slows you down, helps you breathe, and fills your cup.
The space is unpressured, unhurried, and there is no expectation to move from one activity to another. All child-led and all beautifully set up in a quiet location. The unexpected benefit of this for me, was that I seemed to enjoy this time just as much as my children.