Welcome to Forest Friends - St Catherine’s Playgroup

9am to 10.30 on Mondays during school terms

We are a nature based outdoor playgroup run by parent volunteers.  We are passionate about the many benefits of outdoor nature play for young children and enjoy being outside together regardless of the weather. We also incorporate the 'Reggio Emilia' approach that the school is embracing which focuses on setting up beautiful ordered environments with lots of natural light and following the child’s lead and interests in play/learning.  

Forest Friends Nature Playgroup is based in the “forest” area of the school. We have a mud kitchen with pots and pans for making mud pies, soups and wonderful stews, a truck quarry and digging patch, cubbies, crafts, songs, stories and lots of pretend play. We incorporate many random objects from nature into play and we would love it if you could bring along some flowers, herbs, leaves, pebbles, sticks, gum nuts, seed pods etc. from your garden.  Twice a term (weeks 5 and 10 of the school term), we visit the school “wetlands” area in which we walk down to visit the chickens, past the fruit tree orchard and explore the forest paths winding through the “wetlands”.

Nature play supports development in the areas of:

  • Whole body motor skills – climbing, jumping, balancing, carrying
  • Hand skills – feeling, banging, collecting
  • Communication /social skills – naming, negotiating, describing, telling stories
  • Play skills – exploring, pretending, engaging with the environment
  • Sensory skills – feeling, exploring, smelling, listening, looking, experiencing a wide range of textures, temperatures, weights, sizes and shapes
  • Problem solving skills – trialing and experimenting

The playgroup follows the following routine:

9am - 10am: free play outside
10am: pack up time
10.05am: wash hands and sit down
10.10am: eat fruit
10.20 songs and story
10.30 finish

Please bring a piece of fruit/vegetable per child to share and a change of clothes for the kids.  Please dress according to the weather as we will be outside, and it is often cold in the mornings. Coats, water proof clothing and gum boots are very useful.

The fees are $5 per casual visit, or $30 per term per family.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday.

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