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Welcome to the 10 Acre Woods
A place where worries give way to wonder...
The 10 Acre woods is a private, natural, therapeutic space that ignites all of the senses, inspiring playfulness, growth
and learning. It is here in the woods,
where kids can be kids and therapy
and learning become transformational.
Why is Nature Play Important?
Play is the natural language of childhood and it is through play that children learn about themselves and the world around them. Play in nature is especially important because it offers the opportunity for children and youth to bridge their internal and external worlds and develop habits of the mind and behaviour that lay the foundation for resilience and wellbeing throughout life.
This includes, for example, imagination, creative self management, perspective taking, risk tolerance, and the ability to
cope with uncertainty and change.
Benefits of Nature Play
Decreases the risk of obesity
Increases vitamin D levels
Helps children to focus their attention and self regulate
Enhances creativity, critical thinking and problem solving
Reduces anger, stress and aggression
Improves relationship skills and supports social-emotional wellbeing
Strengthens family bonds
Therapy & Learning in the Woods
'On average children today spend
44 hours per week on screens and
less than 10 minutes a day
- The Children and Nature Network
Outside the walls of traditional clinics and classrooms, the 10 acre woods is a natural playground that breathes life into therapy and learning. It's play spaces are designed with neurodiversity and nature in mind. 'The Woods' offers ground for whole- person learning and development, simultaneously engaging the body, the senses and the mind through pretend play, movement- based play (swinging, climbing, jumping, balancing,) sensory play ( barefoot sensory trail, mud and berry art, sand pit), constructive play ( fort building) and cooperative play (forest games with rules).
For younger children, wildlife and animals become 'playmates' and guides . Their observed behaviours and interactions are creatively woven into therapeutic stories and allegories that communicate life lessons or inspire hope and courage.
But the real 'magic' and mystery of the woods lies in its gentle invitation to children and youth to share their inner world whilst exploring the natural world. This happens without the need for complex language skills or abstract thinking, and is especially important for children who have not yet developed those cognitive and language skills, and for others who may be overwhelmed by worried thoughts or find talking about their experiences too difficult.
Natural forested spaces are also inherently calming yet engaging and as such create opportunities to work on 'inner life' skills and develop self awareness.
Elements in the forest give shape to the concept of impermanence and create opportunities to observe thoughts in action, practice mindfulness, and adopt different perspectives - all key aspects of social- emotional health and wellbeing; for youth, wild spaces in the woods become a living metaphor for their journey, revealing the obstacles they face, their 'growth edges' and paths forward, as well as their their unique gifts.
Visiting the 10 Acre Woods
Please note: Nature assisted Psychotherapy and Occupational Therapy services 'in the woods' is not covered by OHIP, however the cost may be partially or fully covered by private health insurance plans or other government funding programs under mental health/psychotherapy, occupational therapy benefits, or core clinical funding (e.g. OAP funding).
The 10 Acre Wood is a private therapeutic/ learning space that is not open to the public, but is offered to clients of CByN who have registered for nature assisted Occupational Therapy, Psychotherapy or Social-Emotional Learning opportunities. Therapy and learning 'in the woods' is provided by registered Occupational Therapists and Psychotherapists in collaboration with learning facilitators and certified Forest and Nature Practitioners.
or contact: Nancy Rushford
© ConnectByNature Therapy & Learning Services 2022
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