At Big Scrub Forest School we believe in nurturing children and giving them the time and opportunity to lead their own play and learning experiences. We see our roles as long-term mentors as opposed to deliverers of a curriculum. We are guided by nature's seasons and rhythms and we plan each session based on the children's interests and needs.

Our days at Forest School are always filled with fun, mud, music, discoveries, stories, bush craft and best of all, amazing friendships! If this sounds like fun, join our little tribe of nature explorers!


No two days are the same at Forest School! Why? Because children are able to direct their own play, learning and exploration. This is however what we see a 'typical day' to be as it engages and supports the children in their emotional, physical, spiritual and cognitive development.

The children arrive at our meeting point to gather as a community before we journey to our 'base camp'. We start the day with a yarning circle to welcome everyone, and acknowledge the Earth, the animals, the plants and the people who walked on this land before us. 


Some of the activities on offer might include:

  • creating with clay, tinkering and other arts based skills

  • whittling

  • knot making

  • learning to use tools safely (knives, hammers, drills..)

  • exploring the environment

  • group games

  • cubby/shelter building

  • storytelling

  • cooking food

  • climbing trees

  • learning about local fauna and flora, identifying bush tucker

  • building fairy houses

  • replanting native flora

       and so much more...

These practices are shown to develop independence, resilience, patience, team building, cognitive and emotional skills as well as foster curiosity, creativity and sustainable living practises.

After lunch the children may wish to rest so a designated area will be set up under the trees for resting, story time or quiet play. Once we return to our meeting point the children have a choice of working on their nature journals. We also share and discuss what we discovered during our day of adventures and talk about what we may wish to do on the next Forest School day.

Want to know more? Read about What is Forest School or check our journal to read about our adventures in nature!


Our Forest School is based in Tintenbar, NSW. This is where we spend most of our time, although we also regularly visit nature reserves within the Ballina and Byron Shires. This is both to minimise our ecological impact and to expose children to the rich biodiversity of the Northern Rivers NSW region.​

Oh, did we mention that we are all-weather kind of folks? So yes, we will still head out even if it's cold and wet. Nature is no less magical, there is just a different kind of magic happening. And it’s worth giving a shot. 

There’s a wonderful Norwegian saying – “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” which translates to “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!”, and we wholeheartedly agree!​

Forest School will only be cancelled in case of extreme weather.

When - Wednesday & Friday during school term, 9:30am to 1:30pm.​

Cost - $50 / week, $40 for siblings payable in advance for the term.

Casual classes offered upon availability.

21 OCTOBER - 16 DECEMBER | 9:30AM - 1:30PM

For children aged 4-10 yrs

Our weekly Forest School program gives children the opportunity to have quality, unstructured play time in nature. This group has a stronger focus on tool use, crafts and bush skills whilst still leaving plenty of time for child directed play and learning.

23 OCTOBER - 18 DECEMBER | 9:30AM - 1:30PM

For children aged 3-6 yrs

Our weekly Forest School program gives children the opportunity to have quality, unstructured play time in nature. The seasons guide our rhythm as we explore a different theme each week based on what is happening around us in nature. 

About us

​Big Scrub Nature Play offers nature playgroups and forest school sessions in Lennox Head, Ballina and Byron hinterland. We provide a warm, inviting and stimulating environment which nurtures children and embraces families as partners in a community of learners.


Big Scrub Nature Play acknowledges that we work and play together on the traditional land of the Bundjalung people.

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© 2020 The Big Scrub Nature Play