Inspired by the Scandinavian Forest School methodology we strive to create a nurturing environment where children can freely express their unique personality and are in charge of their own learning and development

Our programs are guided by pedagogical principles that combine the Scandinavian forest school movement, adventure play and child-directed exploration and learning. By creating a gentle, nurturing yet stimulating environment, we support young children in their natural development. Our approach is:



Children are given the time and freedom to explore at their own pace, following their natural curiosity, instinct and ideas. There is no schedule, and children are unhurried in their explorations - in fact they are encouraged to take time to observe, reflect, make decisions and evaluate risks.



We encourage children to move gently in the natural environment, among their peers, and in their use of tools. 



Our aim to open doors to nature play for children and families of all backgrounds and abilities. We are a parents and community led movement restoring children’s freedom to play out in natural spaces for their health, happiness and sense of belonging.




Children learn from each other. Older kids look after younger ones. There are so many wonderful experiences to share together, and we all learn to be mindful of other people's needs. 



We observe changes and transformations in the natural surroundings, learn about nature's rhythms and seasonal changes. Over time, children develop a deep sense of ownership and connection to that space. An increasing sense of security and self confidence fosters their growing independence.



Kids know how much risk they can handle, and since they are unhurried they have the invaluable opportunity to try and repeat until they can master a task. Adults offer support and supervision but there is minimal interference.

This does not mean, of course, that we put our children at risk. We take safety very, very seriously.

we believe

Childhood should be simple, unhurried and full of wonder.

Parents and caregivers have a vital role in protecting children's play.

Children are innatively curious and driven to learn.

Children of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities can learn and thrive in nature.

Children who play in nature will grow up to love and protect it.

Children gain pride and independence when trusted and empowered.

“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”


 Henry David Thoreau

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.

Explore our site

Little Explorers Playgroups

Forest School program

Contact us

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