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  • Staff Appraisals from the children of Auchlone

    Every year we set aside some time for the children of Auchlone to tell us what they think about the staff team. We all sat around our Talkaround Mat and allowed children time to discuss what they thought of us. As it is every year, the activity proved fun and rewarding for our team and children alike. See what they had to say below:   Mona "Makes things" -boy aged 3 "Reads story" -girl aged 3 "Playing" -boy aged 3 "Makes planes with small sticks" -boy aged 4 "You Mona best teacher" -girl aged 4 "Does talking" -girl aged 5 "I love you Mona" -boy aged 4   Jessica "Smells nice and wears pink jacket like Gail" -boy aged 4 "works all day" -girl aged 4 "tells me story on potty" -girl aged 2 "plays with us" -boys aged 3 "Just plays" -girl aged 4    Anine "She's beautiful and kind" -boy aged 4 "Makes nice snack" -girl aged 4 "Meena!" -boy aged 2 (that’s how he says her name) "Gets us wet in the rain! Hehehe" -girls aged 4   Dannie "I like it when she wears her blue coat because she matches Anine" -boy aged 4 "Lots of things to help Auchlone" -girl aged 4 "Best teacher" -girls aged 4 "that and this (waves hands in air)" -girl aged 2  "Paperwork" -boy aged 3   Gail "I love Gail she's crazy!" -boy aged 4 "She's likable" -boy aged 5 "Nice singing for snack and woods time" -girl aged 4 "Tells me songs on potty" - girl aged 2 "I love Gail!" -boy aged 3 "She's noisy" -girl aged 4 "Plays" -boy aged 2   We highly recommend that you do this activity in your own practice. Learn more about Auchlone Nature Kindergarten by watching our video below:    

  • The Leaf Hunt

          At Auchlone Nature Kindergarten, as well as many other settings around the world, the changing of the seasons can often capture the imaginations of children. This week at Auchlone the children and staff took part in a leaf hunt to find different types of leaves, observing how the differing colours represent the change in the season. As is encouraged through Claire Warden’s Talking and Thinking Floorbook Approach, different children were interested in different topics. Some children were interested in the different vibrant colours, while others wanted to learn about “where leaves went” after they had rotted and disappeared.  A few children discussed how the changing seasons affect leaves: At the end of the adventure all of the leaves were laid out onto a Talkaround Mat to allow children to examine the entire range of different textures, designs and colours. This type of experiential learning is crucial to nurturing a child’s relationship with nature. Manager Danielle Ramsay said “last year we gathered a lot of shades of red, so we will try the colour wheel again next week to see if there are any changes in the leaves.” This continued exploration through nature and the seasons provides valuable learning experiences for children. We look forward to hearing about how the leaves change! Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is based near Crieff, Scotland. Children spend 80% of their time outdoors with the centre practicing Claire Warden philosophies on a daily basis. Every 2nd Thursday is Auchlone Thursday where we discuss what has been happening at Auchlone in recent weeks.  You can visit Auchlone on our Nature Kindergarten Days. Share this blog on Facebook: Share  

  • 5 Brilliant Reasons to Send Your Child to Camp

    Throughout the year Mindstretchers offers a number of camps during school holidays to give children the opportunity to fully engage with nature for a week. From wood whittling and fire starting to tool tinkering and home-made cooking, awesome adventures and amazing memories will stay with children long after camp has ended. This award winning programme will be sure to give your child the best school holiday ever. The dates for our next camp are: Oct 17th 2016 – Oct 21st 2016. There are still places available! Camp is for anyone between the ages of 5 and 12 and is held at Fowlis Wester near Crieff. It is run between 9.30am and 3.00pm by our trainers with support from Auchlone Nature Kindergarten staff. Children are able to attend for as many or as few days as you wish. There may be a discount available for multiple bookings. Please get in touch to check the availability of individual days. Additional days can be booked for your child during camp depending on current bookings.   Studies have shown that outdoor play and learning is incredibly beneficial to a child’s upbringing. Not only is it physically and emotionally healthy, but it helps to develop key life skills.   Our camp is outside for the entire week, allowing your child to get as close to nature as possible. We believe that the best experiences and lessons are found in the natural world. Sending your child to camp will allow their relationship with nature to grow and flourish.       To help fit camp into your schedule we try to run camp during as many school holidays as possible. You can be certain that your children will spend their holiday having one of the greatest learning experiences possible while learning to love nature.   To fit it into your schedule and holiday plans, children are able to attend as many or as few days as they wish. We are flexible to your needs.       Camp activities are completely led by children, with staff providing support rather than directing. We give your child the tools and encouragement to explore at their own speed. This approach allows children to embrace risk assessment and management.   We wholeheartedly believe that the best way to encourage learning is to allow children to inspire themselves through nature play.   Whether your child wants to cook on an open fire, play in muddy water or learn how to weave wool; we will support them in their activity and learning.       For many, this will be the first time they cook their own food on an open fire or whittle wood for use in tool creation. These experiences will last a life time.   Camp allows children to experience nature like never before. By facilitating these new experiences we can be sure that children have an incredibly exciting and fun week while also improving their learning.   Camp makes for brilliant memories that they will share with their friends and families for weeks.       Attending will help your child develop self esteem and independence in a number of ways.   Camp attracts a diverse range of children from a variety of backgrounds and ages. They will undoubtedly make new friends throughout the week. It’s a fantastic opportunity to help develop social skills.   Campers are encouraged to play and learn at their own speed. They will leave with their head held high every day having had a blast and achieved a lot.   GENERAL INFORMATION: Time: 9.30am – 3.00pm Location: Fowlis Wester (10 minute drive from Crieff, Scotland) What you need to bring: Packed lunch, water bottle, waterproofs, spare clothes, warm clothes/sun hat and sun cream depending on time of year. For more details and bookings please email  

  • Our Staff Appraisals 2016

      Share This week the children at Auchlone Nature Kindergarten have been discussing their teachers. We all sat down on our “Talkaround-Mat” and laid out photos of the Auchlone staff. The children began by discussing the different staff members and we recorded their words in our Floorbook. Finally, the children drew pictures of the staff. The children and staff found the experience engaging, rewarding and fun! Dialogue from the children. Annie's AppraisalFG - Cause she has a smiley face.DH - I like aunty neen cause she has long hair.MK - Caue she likes too eat everyone!DR - Eats all the children. Gail's AppraisalFK - She gives me wireDR - Cause she is funnyMK - Tie up materialMS - She looks after everyone Mona's AppraisalMK - She looks after the childrenDR - Cause shes goodFG - she helps me make my bookCP/MMP - Building. she plays in the sandpit with us! Jessica's AppraisalMMP/ DR - KindHC/ DH - GoodFG - She helps me make my stuff.CP - She's nice Dannie's Appraisal CP - She plays with Rosie and makes sure Rosie is okFG - She brings me in when I am upsetDR - She is niceCP - She looked after me when I hurt my kneeDH - She’s lovely Share this blog to Facebook: Share  

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