Nature Kindergarten

Our Nature Programme is unique to New Zealand. We operate to the standard of the highly successful Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the UK.

In New Zealand every child from 3 up to the age of 6 years is entitled to receive up to 20h of ECE funding per week. Legally children do not have to attend school until their 6th birthday.
What is Nature Kindy?


Forest School education is play based, child-directed, emergent and inquiry-based. Learning takes place outdoors in a natural setting, structured by seasons and weather.


Groups are outside all day (6h) in almost every weather condition. Nature Kindergarten is suitable for children from 3 to 6 years. 

How do children learn?


Children learn in context through stimulating, hands-on experiences. Learning is most effective when multiple senses are involved.


They gain a deep awareness of nature, the elements, themselves and their environment. With this comes respect for planet earth and each other, with our unique abilities and personalities.

Who is educating?


Play and Learn teachers are qualified, registered early childhood educators.


Most of them have been trained internationally (Britain/ Germany) to the standard required to operate a Forest School. Our staff regularly takes part in ongoing professional development and further education.

Nature Programme Locations

Long Bay Regional Park

Auckland, North Shore

Monday - Friday 9:00-15:00

Cornwall Park

Auckland City, One Tree Hill

Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-15:00

More days coming soon!

Schlaepfer Park Scout Camp

South Auckland, Pukekohe

Mondays 9:00-15:00

Groups leave from

Play and Learn Clarks Beach Centre

Camp Sladdin, Clevedon Scenic Reserve

East Auckland, Clevedon

Thursdays 9:00-15:00

Groups leave from

Play and Learn King Street Centre


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Founded by Jan Beatson in 1994 Play and Learn provides opportunities for children to reach their full potential through high quality early education. We are operating Centers in Auckland and Dunedin.

As New Zealands first and original Nature Kindergarten we have continuously developed outdoor programmes where children experience the wider world and connect to nature over the last 20 years.

Contact us!
​0508 OUTDOORS (68836677)