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Nature Play at Hamilton SDA

Nurture Through Nature

Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist School have been developing their focus on nature play, where formal education and the outdoors are combined, to help foster a love for learning by engaging with the natural environment.


Earlier this year, three of our staff attended the Little Kiwi's Nature Play Conference to further explore nature play and how it positively impacts child development.

The following quote captures the essence of our philosophy about our developing nature play program:


"Imagine a world where the lines were harsh and unyielding, the textures were consistent and variation is unheard of. Does it inspire you? Now imagine a place where the carpet changes every day, the ceiling is a myriad of different colours, light, shadow and movement. The feelings and movement completely surround you, sometimes breezy, sometimes cold, others warm. Unexpected wonders fly by, sometimes full of colour and sometimes full of noise and movement. If we really want children to thrive we need to let their connection to nature nurture them." - Nurture Through Nature, Claire Warden 2007


There are many benefits to including nature in a child's learning program. Our nature play program aims to:

  • Provide a safe and stimulating environment in which children can feel happy and secure

  • Encourage the emotional, social, physical, creative and intellectual development of children both indoors and outdoors

  • Provide a setting where students are encouraged and supported to take risks and become the risk assessors

  • Promote the welfare of children and encourage their independence

  • Encourage positive attitudes to self and others, and develop confidence and resilience

  • Create opportunities for outdoor play which, at times, is challenging both physically and mentally

  • Encourage children to explore, appreciate and respect their environment

  • Provide opportunities to stimulate interest and imagination

  • Extend children's abilities to communicate ideas and feelings in a variety of ways

Latest research indicates the significant impact nature play has on children and the various benefits it brings to their development. Here at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist School, we strive to incorporate nature play in a significant way as we educate students in a holistic way (Kotahitanga). https://www.childrenandnature.org/

Connecting with God through nature


As students explore and engage with nature, they learn many lessons about life and about faith.


"Let the children learn to see in nature an expression of the love and the wisdom of God; let the thought of Him be linked with the bird, and flower and tree; let all things seen become to them the interpreters of the unseen, and all the events of life be a means of divine teaching." -Ellen White, Education, pg. 103


Come and see for yourself


If you would like to learn more about our nature play program, please book a visit and come and be part of the experience.


Please email principal@hamsda.school.nz to arrange a time.


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Tel: 07 856 4417

Email: office@hamsda.school.nz

46 Annebrook Rd,

Hillcrest, RD3, 3283