chapter  16
8 Pages

The educational meaning of ‘wander’ in nature according to the development of early childhood

ByYumiko Taoka

This chapter focuses on the times and places the children choose for themselves. It suggests that it is necessary for children to be provided with plenty of opportunities and spaces if they are to enjoy outdoor play sufficiently. In addition, it is important for them to choose to play using their own initiative. Children can find their own interesting things and places through wandering outdoors from one thing to another. Tina Bruce identifies what she calls 'free-flow play'. This view of play emphasizes the freedom which is essential in play, for children to choose, take control, explore, create, imagine and go beyond the here and now. The term 'free flow' refers to the dynamic quality of play. 'Free flow play' values the child's interest and choice about times and spaces. The chapter presents 'wander' as walking in nature freely with sufficient opportunities. It explores several ideas according to the development of early childhood based on Froebel's educational thoughts and practice.