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A family outdoor club that will have fun every Friday in the Orlando area.
Age 6 and up only. You may bring one sibling age 5 and under to NaturePlay but must bring an extra adult for every child for safety in water situations in a 1:1 supervisory ratio. All your children must remain in your direct line of sight and be under your direct supervision at all times.
Our focus is on Homeschoolers age 6 - 10.
What we are: We are a group of parents that just simply want to see kids outside no matter who you are, no matter what you believe, what you eat or how you live. We are an inclusive group and love to share ideas on how best to get kids off their screens and experiencing the real world outside. As the parent, you hold the key to the door outside.
What we are not: We are not a mommy playgroup for babies and toddlers. We are not Waldorf. We are not a babysitting/daycare service. Please do not count on other parents to watch your kids. That puts the other parent at a deficit to watch their own child and puts everyones safety in jeopardy. During nature play we do try to avoid playgrounds not because we don't love them (we do!) - It's just that this is the special time we set aside to allow children to be more inventive, creative and adventurous in their play, and the objects found in nature facilitate this.
In the Summer most meet ups will have a get wet in the water aspect due to the heat. Like beach days, creek days, springs, water parks, resorts, splash pads, lagoon seine netting, and indoor rock climbing - All with a nature twist. Parents who bring along the one sibling age 5 and under to NaturePlay but must bring an extra adult for that under 5 child for and 1:1 safety ratio in water situations.
In the Fall we will get back to our regular plan of Home Park - free play in the woods / campfire every other week. Then rotating locations around Orlando every alternating week. We are still going strong after a year and with 100 + members :) We typically have 10-20 join us every Friday. Check it out!
On home park days we will sometimes have a campfire and have the opportunity for regular, reoccurring free play in nature in a familiar location. This is relaxing for the kids and parents and allows for more on creative, imaginative, adventurous play. Feel free to bring things like digging tools, bins, buckets (water to play with is available), magnifying glasses, binoculars, twine, old sheets and clothes pins to build forts with, scissors for cutting grasses and leaves to weave, etc..
Please no regular toys as this causes conflict in the group and detracts from actual nature play. No gun or sword play. Our philosophy follows the Scandinavian forest school model but for ages 6-10.
There is a growing and compelling body of evidence that regular and ready access to a wildlife rich environment is essential for children's health and wellbeing.
All the senses are engaged in outdoor play, stimulating the brain and providing ideal conditions for the creation of new neural pathways in children. Stress levels drop outside too.
Evaluation of kids and nature play has shown that the benefits include better motivation and concentration; improved language, communication and social skills; enhanced physical skills (more stamina, improved balance, co-ordination, gross and fine motor skills); appreciation of natural surroundings; and new confidence and self-esteem.
This is a meetup based on free play, not an activity led by a single leader. Children not exposed to nature free play before may need some help and guidance from the parent or other kids to show them what there is to do in the woods without traditional playground equipment or toys. Kids can have the chance to play in the forest if they are given the time and space - to revitalize a disappearing skill. For more information google topics such as Nature Deficit Disorder, Forest Kindergarten, nature play, kaboom - saving play.
It's all in the details:
We are in unusual play natural areas thus some rules and guidelines are needed. Rules, Guidelines and membership subject to change for effective group and location management. There is a trial membership for new members for the first one or two meetups to assess for group dynamic and fit.
In fire ant prone areas it is helpful for children to wear long pants tucked into socks and good shoes to protect again any insects.
Bring water, snack, sunscreen and hat for your child.
Parent also affirms that is their responsibility to research and manage for their children all hazards and safety precautions involved in Nature Play and meet up locations including but not limited to proper clothing/footwear, food, hydration, basic first aid, CPR, splinters, sunburn, dehydration, heat management, cold management, lack of bathrooms, sticks, rocks, mud, adverse weather, rain, lightning, water depth and type, water quality, water safety, fall danger, stranger danger, alligators, cranes, snakes, ticks, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, allergies, spiders, scorpions, poison ivy, fire ants etc...Please come prepared and educated. Liability waivers are required.
By becoming a member of this group, you:
(1) Agree that the NaturePlay - Orlando Outdoor Families and its organizers are not liable for anything that may happen while attending or as a result of attending one of the events. That you will indemnify and hold harmless the organizers of this group against any and all claims and complaints.
(2) Affirm that it is the responsibility of the parent to watch his/her child at all times and ensure their safety and to be knowledgeable about the all the hazards of the world.
(3) Are notified that photos/videos taken at events may be posted and permissions are granted by attendance.
4) Liability waiver required to be signed by parents and coordinated at each event by the event host.
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