Have you ever just sat and watched a child play. i mean really play. No toys or distractions. Where they construct and build the play themselves. In Early Childhood we call this child led and resourced play.
It is my favourite type of play. The play my Pedagogy (What I believe) is built around.
The children that come to me for care (Family Day Care) do this every day. Whether we are at River Kindy or at my place. The play and how it develops is totally in their hands. I love when I hear the phrase "I'm bored" because i know some truely great play is going to follow. It's not until the child's mind is truly free of distractions that their true play intention comes out. I do tend to step into their play if required but on the whole I keep right out of what they are doing. I don't know where their play will lead that is entirely up to them.
When a child first comes to the river with me I do hear "I'm bored". When I hear this I know something more meaningful to them will come soon. You just have to give them time to find their space and place. I recently had a new child come to the river for the first time. I heard I'm bored quite a lot in the first 20-30 minutes. I know from previous experiences with her that ephemeral (temporary ) art is something she is quite interested in. So I sat drawing things in the sand adding sticks and rocks to my work. I saw her notice this and wasn't surprised when she sat on the edge of the river and started drawing in the wet sand. She would often walk in and around the river looking for further pieces to add to her work. This session lasted almost 30 minutes and led her onto other discoveries that she followed up after this experience. She was so engrossed in this and the rich language I was hearing just gave me joyful goosebumps. She had found her place and space. This to me is what nature based play is about.