Called Barn Bodjara (Walk of the Country), the weekly Bush Kindy program was developed to help the children learn more about their surroundings and the history of their local community.
“As well as helping our children learn more about their natural environment, our Bush Kindy program provides a unique and authentic connection with Rockingham’s Indigenous history,” centre director Louise Munro said.
“One of our educators is from a local Indigenous family and she asked them to help us name the program.
“Our educator’s father is an elder who has been involved in our centre before, helping to teach the children about his Indigenous culture and he went to another elder in his family.
“Together, through their understanding of our service and what we wanted to achieve they came up with the name of our program; Barn Bodjara, which means Walk of the Country,” she said.
Every week the children explore the natural environment of Rockingham, including local lakes, beaches, parklands and even an environmental centre where they learned about local flora and fauna.
“We wanted our nature kindergarten program to be authentic and also help the children learn more about the community that they are living in,” Mrs Munro said.
The response from the children and families has been overwhelming.
“The children love getting out and learning in nature and the parents tell us how happy they are.”
The Bush Kindy program is part of a movement that is becoming more popular across Goodstart kindergarten classes.
Goodstart Early Learning research shows outdoor play can help children have better self-regulation, higher creativity and problem-solving skills.