What do we mean by a natural learning area?
A natural learning area is a wild and natural space where learners are free to play with found items from nature and learn about the natural world.
What does a natural learning area look like?
Lots of trees (woodland) if possible – look at The Woodland Trust’s website who give away lots of free trees for you to start planting.
Plants, grass, meadow planting – a place that doesn’t need to be maintained but a place nature can thrive. Keep the weeds and create your own wildlife reserve in your school grounds.
Activity areas you can add to your natural learning area
A campfire circle is a great addition to the natural play area. It is a place to gather, to socialise, to tell stories or sing songs.
Taking the learning a step further, you can create a fire in the centre of the campfire circle and do lessons in cooking or boiling a kettle outdoors. There are great advantages of providing children with supervised experience of fire; teaching them how to respect it and behave around it in a safe environment rather than them having their first experience with fire on their own without the knowledge of how to act safely.
Teachers wanting to teach these outdoor skills on a campfire should contact our Outdoor Learning Team for training and advice.
A woodland provides a perfect environment for imaginary play. By providing some loose parts such as ropes and tarpaulin for supervised play or a lesson children and young adults can create their very own wilderness camp. Where they will learn skills through play.
Mud kitchen and messy play
Details of how to create a natural learning area and more examples to come.