Welcome to the 10 Acre Woods 
 


         
              A place where worries give way to wonder...

 
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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 where therapy and learning become transformational. 

 
Why is Nature Play Important? 
Play is the natural language of children, and through play 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.

Nature play also encourages care for the earth and is one of the biggest factors in 
promoting environmental stewardship into
adulthood. 

And while research tells us that regular time outdoors is essential for children’s healthy development, we live in an increasingly complex and fast paced world where children today have less opportunity to play outside and are less connected to nature
than ever before. 


 
Play in the 10 Acre Woods

'On average children today spend 
44 hours per week on screens and
less than 10 minutes a day
playing outdoors.' 


- The Children and Nature Network
https://www.childrenandnature.org/about/





 
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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
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A child's abilities, their race, identity, and where they live are also factors that influence the opportunities they have to access green space and to play in nature.   
The 10 Acre Wood is a natural playground for developing resilience and social- emotional health and wellbeing. The '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.   
Teenagers in Nature
'The Woods'  also 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).
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Therapy & Social-Emotional Learning in the Woods
It is our job as registered therapists and forest and nature practitioners to draw upon nature's gifts including natural landscapes,  natural elements, wildlife and animals,  in playful ways, in order to nurture connections, build relationships, and promote the wellbeing of children and nature. 
 
Natural forested spaces are inherently calming yet engaging, and as such create opportunities to work on 'inner life' skills, like learning how to self-regulate and 'resource'  through the senses,  explore and take risks, face uncertainty, and become more self aware. Wildlife and animals are 'playmates' for younger children in the 10 Acre Woods and 'guides' for all; their observed behaviours and interactions are creatively woven into therapeutic stories or allegories, as needed, to communicate life lessons or inspire hope and courage. 
 
Natural elements in the forest like the 'wishing tree,' 'the bridge of trust' and the' Tree Frog' give shape to the concept of impermanence  and create opportunities for children to observe their thoughts and feelings in action, practice mindfulness, and learn to 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 Wood

Please note: 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 a registered Occupational Therapist and Psychotherapist in collaboration with a certified Forest and Nature Practitioner.

Individual/family Therapy Session: 45-60 minutes

Social-Emotional Learning (small group; individualized)

 

 

 

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).

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