Happy, healthy, whole….

Holistic Development at Nature Kindergarten

At Park Academy Childcare we are committed to the development of the whole child. and this is
reflected in both the environment and activities that we provide at Nature Kindergarten. In
addition to the child-led activities that our team facilitates each day, we also provide direct
opportunities for children to become involved in areas such as sport, yoga & creative arts.
Through these activities we support a child’s holistic well-being and enable them to discover their
own unique strengths and talents. That’s not to mention the great fun and enjoyment that these
interesting activities provide!

Children playing outdoors at Park Academy's Nature Kindergarten

Social & Emotional Development

Freedom & Democracy

 
Freedom and social interaction are integral to daily life at Nature Kindergarten and this has huge
benefits for a child’s social development. In this environment children learn how to make new
friends, negotiate and resolve conflicts together and help each other out as they attempt new
challenges. Whether it’s encouraging a friend as they climb a tree, or offering them a helping hand
up onto the spider web, the cooperation and respect that the children have for each other is truly
heart-warming. .

The Nature Kindergarten operates under a highly democratic approach where the children take
‘ownership’ of the forest and are consulted on any planned developments to their space. This
encourages a sense of social responsibility towards the planet – an attitude that will be imperative
for its future survival. This is just one of the many unique and wonderful distinctions that makes
Nature Kindergarten such an amazing place to be. For more on the social and emotional benefits of
Nature Kindergarten see here.

Mini Me Yoga

 
Our team at Nature Kindergarten are trained in Mini Me Yoga and so the children often enjoy yoga
sessions outdoors. Yoga is a really nice way to introduce the children to the practice of mindfulness
since it encourages them to stop, relax and just be present. In today’s increasingly busy world this
is an important skill to learn and one which can have huge benefits for a children’s emotional
well-being. Yoga also contributes to self-esteem as the children love practicing their poses and
gain a sense of accomplishment from seeing their strength and flexibility improve.

Feeding the cows at Killruddery Farm

Wider Horizons

 
Nature Kindergarten is set in the grounds of Killruddery and the children frequently go on fun and
educational trips around the estate. Whether it’s visiting the new baby animals on the farm in spring,
navigating through the large maze or rock climbing on the nearby hill, there are always lots of
exciting things to do at Killruddery! A favourite activity is to go ‘puddle jumping’ after a spell of
rain and the extensive grounds provide many opportunities for this. Interacting with their environment
encourages children to become responsible and committed citizens. At Nature Kindergarten we believe in
providing children with this opportunity, so that they may go on to make a positive contribution to the
wider world.

Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills

 
The nature Kindergarten environment has so many benefits for a child’s physical development from
regular exposure to nature, fresh air, and sunlight, to the endless opportunities to run, jump and climb.
The children at Nature Kindergarten are highly active and as a result they quickly become fit and agile,
while developing strength, coordination and balance. See more information on the important physical
benefits of the Nature Kindergarten environment here.

The JUMP Programme

 
In addition to the natural exercise that the children get throughout the day, Park Academy’s Coach
Eamonn also frequently attends Nature Kindergarten to facilitate our JUMP sports and fitness programme.
Eamonn bases his classes around the Nature Kindergarten environment and makes good use of all the great
natural materials that are available. So whether it’s using a log as a gymnastics beam, or creating a
woodland adventure obstacle course, JUMP class at Nature Kindergarten is always a fun and challenging
experience!

Practicing ball handling skills at JUMP Sports Class in Nature Kindergarten

Creativity & Imagination

 Nature Based Arts & Crafts

 
The opportunities to develop creativity at Nature Kindergarten are abundant. However the team also
arrange special activities for the children which incorporate different creative pursuits. From leaf
printing to painting with blackberry dye, the children‘s creativity is constantly inspired and sustained
by the natural environment around them.

Cookery

 
The Nature Kindergarten environment is designed to promote self-sufficiency and the children learn to
become independent in many ways. Cookery is just one of the valuable life skills that children learn in
this environment and it is an activity that they love. In keeping with the Nature Kindergarten ethos, our
team try to incorporate locally grown foods into the cookery sessions. Cooking with local foods gives the
children a greater appreciation for the nature and encourages them to think about where their food is
sourced. It also encourages introduces children to the creative ways in which these local foods can be
utilized, whether it is making blackberry pancakes around the camp fire in autumn, garlic pesto in spring
or nettle ice pops in summer. It’s amazing how many ‘yummy’ things can be created with a bit of creativity!

Leaf painting outdoors at Park Academy's Nature Kindergarten

Visit our blog for more information on the physical, cognitive and social & emotional benefits that the Nature Kindergarten provides for children.