You can even climb trees! Exploring a Collaborative Nature Play Initiative

Nancy Spencer-Cavliere

Co-Authors: Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Mary Ann Rintoul

Summary: This case study explores one particular movement that emerged in the 1990’s in the United Kingdom called Forest School (FS) (Knight, 2013) and its application in a collaborative early learning context, the Canadian kindergarten. Beginning with the renewed definition of recreation that includes the concept of freely chosen participation, the study is guided by a definition of play occurring in natural environments as freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated (Hughes, 2012). Particular to this study are the goals of the FRC of a) fostering active living, b) connecting people, in this case, children, and nature, and c) the importance of developing capacity, exemplified in this study as collaboration with educational institutions, educators, and parents, all of whom are critical partners in recreation (FRC, 2015). Evident is the need for collaborative and creative approaches that extend beyond professional and disciplinary boundaries to find solutions to the decline of children’s play in nature.

Student Abstract presented at the 2016 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Energize Workshop

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