THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND BUSH BABIES
From womb to warm embrace the very young child's first sensory experiences are governed by its caregivers. With dreamy consciousness, the child begins to awaken to their immediate environments and growing awareness through their developing sensory perceptions.
The aim of Bush Babies is to develop a wonderment of the natural world, a sanctuary for families, to share in the joyous moments of their child's early development and their journey of self discovery, through peer support and new friendship.
Young children need to experience and live in an environment where goodness is personified - where the child senses 'I can trust this adult. It is safe to be here. I do not need to fear or withdraw.'
The creation of a joyous bush babies program comes out of a striving by firstly the parents to develop an greater understanding of their children, themselves and others. We strive for an awareness of what is happening for the children and this presence offers a nurturing, safe and warm environment.
Many Child Development writers underline the importance of the tactile experience of the natural world for healthy development of physical, mental, social and emotional development. In a world where we are increasingly exposed to media technology and indoor recreation a child’s experience of the outdoors can become limited.
Bush babies celebrates getting outside, getting muddy, moving our bodies, exploring nature, learning respect for the natural world around us and fostering the natural awe we all have for the magic of living things.
Castlemaine Bush babies emerged from very humble beginnings, but innately from an overwhelming need to venture beyond the enclosures, beyond the secure. My children were critical at truly opening my eyes to Nature's wonderment & for that I am eternally grateful.
Socialising over a cuppa is a vital part of the program. In addition to that, the session has a child-focused structure that allows the children to “breathe in and breathe out” in their play and exploration. As adults we “hold the space” by providing our attentiveness for safety and sharing their moments of joy.
BASIC ELEMENTS OF BUSH BABIES
ORIGINS OF BUSH KINDER
Bush or Forrest Kindergartens originated in Europe, particularly through the influence of the writings of Rudolf Steiner who valued the child’s experience of nature and natural materials in play.
In these countries, babies to pre-school children would be dropped off at the Kindergarten in the morning, dressed in appropriate all-weather gear and would spend most of the day out doors during rain, even snow with temperatures down to 10 degrees below 0.
In Australia, we need to learn how to dress appropriately for our changeable climate.
In Autumn/Winter/Spring waterproof pants and coat and a woollen hat are essential. When jeans or cotton pants get wet they act as a “Coolgardie Safe” in the wind and can actually drop body temperature quite rapidly. In particular a child’s body temperature can cool down very quickly. Plastic pants are handy if the grass or shrubs are wet or if it is very windy.
Wool is the best fibre as it keeps you warm even if it gets wet. Always try to wear some article of woollen clothing in the cooler months.
In summer a sun hat and sunscreen are essential. In all weathers sturdy, closed-toe shoes are a must.
Bush Babies will continue to run even if it is raining or windy. However, winter sessions will include an indoor venue. The children will be able to change, dry off and prepare soup for lunch. Communication is usually by text message or phonecall on the morning of Bush Babies.
What to bring:
All-weather gear (gumboots, raincoat, plastic pants, change of clothes in the car)
Backpack for kids (optional) and parents
Water bottle, piece of fruit/veg to share, plus morning tea snack
A hot cuppa is provided. Please bring a cup.