The classroom has widened recently for children at Lyrebird Preschool.
A five week pilot program, ‘bush kindy’ has seen the children visit Depot Farm on Ben’s Walk every Thursday.
With no shortage of rocks to climb, hills to slide down and wombat stews to brew, preschool director Belinda Hibbert said there’s been a big difference in the children’s behaviour.
“There’s a lot of proven facts that getting out into nature helps children with behavioural issues, depression and anxiety,” she said.
“We’ve seen some amazing changes in the children. Our quiet children who didn’t talk have been coming out of their shells and we’ve been seeing them work collaboratively and make friendships.”
While Ms Hibbert said it was a challenge initially for staff to let children out of their comfort zones, they’ve been supported by Amanda and Penny from Outdoor Connections who have helped train the preschool staff to be able to continue the program annually.
The initiative has been well-supported by pre-school parents and staff. Ms Hibbert hopes to extend the program to local farms, as well as working with elders to explore Shoalhaven cultural paths.