Play and Learn Nature Playgroup

Nature Playgroup is a chance for children from 0-6 years, whaanau and educators to get out there and explore. Nature Playgroups are parent or home-based educator led. It is an opportunity for children to do what they have always done - climb trees, make huts, find insects, go on bush walks, play games and a social opportunity for the adults who come with them.

Nature Playgroup is a group of people who want their children to have regular experiences in nature. It is a unstructured time to play in nature. In a world where children't lives are so busy its great to have some scheduled 'downtime' where they can explore, challenge themselves, learn about risk taking, develop confidence and make some great friends.

Please note: Adults are responsible for their own children.

Each venue needs at least 6 children for the group to go ahead

What should I bring?

- Snacks and a bottle of water

- Clothing appropriate for the weather, for example sunhats, raincoat,...

- A change of clothes for your child

- Insect repellant, sunscreen


The Co-ordinator will look after the administration of the group and communicate with the members; she will make decisions about weather etc. Basic art, science and literacy equipment will be provided but children need to develop the skills to be resourceful and discover what they can do with what nature provides.  Co-ordinators will take photographs and upload to the “closed playgroup facebook page”. Co-ordinators will make suggestions for a plan for the day based on the needs and current interests of the group. They may have their own children attending playgroup sessions.

Role of the Co-ordinator

Playgroup Locations and Times

The plan for the session will be discussed on the group private facebook group before the session so you can have your say about what you would like to do and find out where the meeting place will be. Any problems email

Torbay/Long Bay

Whanau-Led Group

Tuesday and Wednesday 10-12 

Point Chevalier

Whanau Led- Group

Thursday 10-11.30

Franklin (Pukekohe but can be at different locations)

Teacher - Led Group

Tuesday 10-11.30

Papakura/Takanini -currently on hold-


Otimai (Oratira) -currently on hold-


Playgroup Fees

Per Session

$6 per child

$8 per family (Children under one are free with older siblings attending)


Concession Cards

5 Sessions (to be used within 3 months)

$25 per child

$37 per family (Children under one are free with older siblings attending)


10 Sessions (to be used within 6 months)

$40 per child 

$60 per family (Children under one are free with older siblings attending)

FREE for educators and children enrolled in Play and Learn Home Based Care

We do not receive funding for this programme from the Ministry of Education so fees go towards running costs and resources. 

Ten Reasons to come to Nature Playgroup

1 For most people childhood memories are those of playing outside, climbing trees, making huts, splashing in puddles, collecting shells to name a few. Over the last generation or two these have been replaced by artificial grass and plastic playgrounds. At Play and Learn we believe it is so important for children to get back outdoors and out into nature.


2 Nature Playgroups are for children and their parents/ grandparents/ caregivers to spend time learning, exploring and discovering through play and with others who also value the importance of being outdoors. 


3 Its an opportunity for kids to just be kids - climbing trees, making huts, playing with friends with no set agenda or expectations. 


4 By belonging to Nature Playgroups means that you and your children get regular opportunities to spend time outdoors in and with nature and the vast benefits that come with it.


5 The mixed age group setting allows children to develop at their own pace and to play either alone or in small groups of friends.


6 Playgroup is an opportunity to introduce children and families to the Natural World. Children who visit the outdoors on a regular basis and through play, have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.


7 Children are able to roam around freely and experience “real stuff” as opposed to plastic toys.


8 Children experience the “feel of the outdoors”, the smells, the silence, the smells, notice the effects of temperature, wind, light, shadow, clouds, colours, leaves etc.


9 By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in an outdoor  environment children have an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, and sound emotional and social skills. These, through self awareness can be developed to reach personal potential.


10 An opportunity for families to meet like-minded people who see the value in children exploring in the great outdoors.