The Mindstretchers Academy Blog

A week of Virtual Nature School - Thomas' story

Posted by Bravo Nyamudoka on

A week of Virtual Nature School - Thomas' story

Bubbles, marbles and dens in the Virtual Nature School.  In response to the need for quality nature-based learning resources for families during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Claire Warden and Living Classrooms created the Virtual Nature School. Through this innovative, inspiring and engaging approach we help parents support their children's inquiry-based learning inside their home and outside in their garden or local park. The Virtual Nature School is about building relationships through an online community and establishing some rituals and routines that are being missed during lockdown. At it's heart is an affirming process for children. Open-ended inquiries are explored through each...

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REALITY, PRECAUTION AND HOPE

Posted by Dr Claire Warden on

REALITY, PRECAUTION AND HOPE

Consider the soundscape that your child hears at the moment. What sounds do they hear when they wake up? What narrative is present in the background of their day? The news is not prone to rationalise or give a positive aspect to any situation and fake news spreads across social media. As we continue to share the drama within this crisis, we need to consider the impact on the emotional growth of the children we care for.  In times of crisis, the soundscape changes from day to day rituals and routines to one of changing plans and uncertainty. The tone...

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A BLOG ABOUT BOGS

Posted by Claire Warden on

A BLOG ABOUT BOGS

30 years ago, I fell into a bog. The day was cold and clagged in. I couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of me and I slipped on a wet rock and fell. My partner and I were camping in a midge invested camp site at the foot of Ben Nevis in Scotland and had committed to climbing the monument that is Ben Nevis. Bogs are an important habitat and I had no intent to damage the area I fell in. As we had walked up the lower slopes there was a mixture of heather moorland, grass...

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FORGOTTEN SPACES - A CORNER OF THE PLAYGROUND

Posted by Claire Warden on

FORGOTTEN SPACES - A CORNER OF THE PLAYGROUND

Trees - A movable forest In this second blog on forgotten spaces we explore the concept of a movable forest and how this small action can soften a landscape and therefore increase children’s desire to be outside. In many environments where I often work, the outdoor landscape is very barren due to increasing levels of vandalism. In these locations it can be hard for staff to sustain the motivation to replace and fix damaged items. It was from this experience that 13 years ago I designed a mobile system called the ‘We-Go outside’. It took its name from my young...

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MISSION MUD-POSSIBLE!

Posted by Claire Warden on

MISSION MUD-POSSIBLE!

If you choose to accept the mission read on... The wonderful work of the World Forum for Early Childhood led to the creation of international working forums to support the change process and to create networks for colleagues to connect to each other and support their work across the world. One of the working forums was the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC). As part of the network, I would like to acknowledge Gillian McAuliffe from Australia and Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal who collaborated on the first event. Since then it has spread across the world, through time zones and...

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