Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Kindergarten Provocations

Play nourishes every aspect of a child's development. I believe that it forms the foundation for physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills which are important for their happiness. One of my goals as a primary teacher is to create a rich play environment which will support the whole child

This year in nature kindergarten I have been planning invitations for play using natural materials. Here are a few that have been fun to plan and enjoyed by the children over the past few months.


I added some natural materials like tree blocks, beach stones, sticks which are similar lengths, pinecones and sand. Then sinceit is spring I added some insects from our math bin. I was curious to see how this provocation inspired the children to explore the sand table in new ways using loose parts.


My daughter loaned me a raven's nest for the classroom. I was curious to see if this little centre would intrigue my students and it did! They named it the Raven Centre and enjoyed reading the books, using magnifying glasses to look closely at the next and then sketch the nest using paper prepared on the clipboard. I found an emergent reader about ravens which featured labelling which led to a whole bunch of bird sketches with important body parts labelled at the art centre.

I was visiting a nature kindergarten classroom in Sooke and noticed that the children had little sparkle jars. As our class is moving to the seashore for the spring I wanted to invite the children to play with water in different ways. This invitation created an opportunity for children to bring a small jar from home and independently follow directions to create their own
sparkle jar. 

Sometimes the best things happen when you least expect it. Two  students brought in a collection of beach glass collected during family visits to our local beach. Around the same time I found some beach glass that had been turned into beads of all sizes, shapes and colours at our local store on sale!!

Their interest in sorting and playing with the beach glass inspired me to create a centre where they could play with the beach glass beads, threading them onto gold pipe cleaner and then wrap them on our little tree. As the children explored the beads they sorted by colour, shape, size, created patterns and counted how many beads could fit onto the pipe cleaner Then they  would take it apart and do it all over again the next day.

 Natures Loose Parts in Math 

Nature is full of things for children to investigate. In this provocation the children had brought some loose parts from Woodstream Park back to the classroom to explore. I put them in a math bin and asked a question. The children loved pulling out the bin to see what new nature artifacts I had added to the bin for them to sort and play with.


This open ended activity encourages creativity. The emphasis is on having fun and using the wikki sticks to shape different designs or just play with different figures.

What do you offer to inspire creativity and play in your learning environments?  I would love you to share your ideas with the readers.  

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Loved the little peak into your classroom Liz. I especially love your tree for the beading tree. Brilliant idea.

  2. Thanks Sandi, it was one of those 40% coupons combined with a sale at Michaels. Well worth it. I think we will paint the branches when they lose interest in the beading.

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