top of page

The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of a Nature Play program; Training for early childhood educators


$400 - $450


2 Days: 9:00am-3:30pm


Friday, 17 March 2023

About the Professional Learning Experience

This training is designed to support early childhood educators who are interested in embedding a rich and comprehensive nature play program in their service.

Whether you are at the beginner stage of your journey or wish to enrich your current practice of taking children ‘out the gate’, this training will give you the tools you require.

Based on contemporary research and practice, the training is presented by Dr Fran Hughes and a group of experienced nature play practitioners who will share their stories and knowledge.

It will be held over two full days in a small group learning format and will provide a balance of practical and theoretical knowledge. Learning will occur in both indoor and outdoor contexts.

Dates: Friday 17th & Saturday 18th March 2023

Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm Venue: Sydney Olympic Park, Education Annexe Room 1 Cost: $400 (NSW EYNC members), $450 (non-members)


Participants will gain understandings of: • The importance and value of immersing children in nature on a regular basis. • How ACECQA (2021) and the EYLF (2009) support nature play. • The pedagogy of nature play. • The practicalities of taking children out including risk management and connecting with local community. • The potential for nature play in a variety of settings - bush, beach, urban, parks. • How to articulate the importance of nature play to families, colleagues and management. • Embedding nature play into the service philosophy. • The importance of engaging with First Nations Peoples, their communities and knowledges. • The connection between nature and sustainability. • The rights of all children to play in nature.


Dr Fran Hughes

Fran has been in the early childhood sector all her working life. She is now working as a casual academic at the University of New England having retired from full time work. Her professional interests include nature play and education for sustainability in the early years. Fran holds qualifications in Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood, Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and has recently submitted a PhD on nature pedagogy and sustainability. She also has qualifications in nature pedagogy; forest school practitioner level 2. Fran brings a passion for sustainability through her work in connecting young children, early childhood practitioners and environmental educators with nature. Fran has presented at international and national conferences on sustainability and nature play in recent years. She has co-written and delivers the TAFE NSW Early Years Bush Connections course which won an Australasian Green Gown Award in 2013 and convenes the NSW Early Years Nature Connections group. In 2012 Fran was the recipient of the NSW Ministers Quality Teaching Award for TAFE NSW Sydney Institute for work in sustainability.

Dr Fran Hughes
bottom of page