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Wild Kindy

Wild Kindy is our nature based programme for children aged 3 - 6 years old. Mirrored with our Wild School programme, yet specifically designed for our young learners, with play spaces, risks & challenges, adventures and planned activities mindfully selected for creating joyful early memories outdoors. 

What is Wild Kindy?

Wild Kindy is a place for our youngest wild hearts to have a place to explore their bodies, learn about their personal strengths and abilities, and build connections with other children and the natural world we live in. Recent studies on brain development have highlighted the importance of the early years of life, with life-long values, habits and passions beginning their formation. We believe that with regular, early exposure to the holistic benefits of playing, learning and simply being in nature, children will learn to grow in love and appreciation for the world around them.  We intentionally plan for children to marvel in a space of curiosity, wonder and awe of our world and its finer details. 

Our days will be filled with connection, adventures, creative thinking, exploration and discovery, and will be underpinned by our core values; 

Be Curious – To have a curious mind, to wonder, to ask questions, to think creatively, to problem solve, to express themselves. 

Have Courage – To take risks, try new things, challenge themselves, build self confidence, have a voice, be innovative, test their ideas.

Act with Care – To speak and act with care to others, to build respect for themselves, to think and talk with positivity, to learn to respect and care for our living world. 

Each moment, every session, all conversations, each site, all four seasons, and each relationship is packed with potential for inspiring wonder and wellness.

Transformation Schema
Risky Play

Our Daily Flow

Our Wonder & Wellness programme is play-based, child-led and no pressure.
Our experienced educators observe, notice and respond to learning in the moment, sharing their knowledge, experience and encouragement to think, wonder, and develop working theories. To complement spontaneous learning our educators plan group experiences that embrace the ever changing, seasonal learning environment. These experiences promote collaboration & communication as we share and celebrate children as individuals.


A Typical Day

9.15am – Drop off/Meet and greet at location base 
9.30am – Morning Hui – Group game/activity
10am – Morning Kai (snack) 
10.15am – Body scan/Clothing/Weather check, Toilet reminder, adventure planning
10.20/30am – Child-led play supported by educators
12pm – Gather together for lunch
12.15/20pm – Story time/Rest time
12.30pm – Return to play or head off for an afternoon expedition exploring on foot.
2.30pm – Sharing/reflection time over a warm fruit tea and snack 
2.45pm – Pick up time

Our days are intended to be slow and intentionally void of rush.  We aim to provide as much space and time for free-play as possible.  Any planned group experiences and hui’s are intended to foster group connection and belonging, social skills, to gain understanding for our safety rules and expectations and to provide moments of rest and stillness in a day filled with physical movement. 


We are currently using two locations for our base.

Whakatipu Lakeside (park street) offers exploration of our unique lakeside landscape with shallow waters, extensive views and deep connections to our Lake Whakatipu to be experienced. From here there is a local park (Jubilee Park) which is where we are located when required due to wet/windy weather conditions, and within walking distance are many little bays, jettys and the Queenstown Gardens to explore.

Shotover Delta (near the Shotover Bridge) offers a unique forested space tucked away in a secluded part of the Shotover Delta Reserve. Our core play space is located behind the flood banks/Queenstown Trail under the willow trees. With evidence to children's play, joy & creatvity dotted within the play space, it is a naturally iniviting place for kids to play and explore. Here there are lots of trees to climb, and natural resources for craft projects.

Outdoor Classroom
Autumn Leaves


Our Wild Kindy programmes currently run on Tuesdays at Whakatipu Lakeside (park street) and Thursdays at Shotover Delta (near the Shotover Bridge).

If enrolled, your child would attend Wild Kindy once a week (Tuesdays) from 9.15am – 2.45pm, to allow families with school children time to drop off/collect their siblings from school. If you would like to attend more than one day, please enroll for all the days you would like and we will do our best to accomodate depending on space availabilty,

We require a full term commitment (Normally 10 weeks), yet your enrolment can carry over automatically if you would like to secure your space long term.  Please note that we do not operate during school holidays.


We welcome children aged 3 – 6 years old into Wild Kindy. Our programme aligns with the educational goals of the NZ Early Childhood Education Curriculum, Te Whariki. With this age range we hope to enable families with siblings close in age to attend together and to provide age appropriate learning opportunities including risky play. Sarah, Morgan & Kirsty are our Wild Guides, with occasional support from additional experienced educators. 

Due to the nature of our programme, being primarily outdoors, we require children to have a good level of independent toileting skills and no longer require a day-sleep. We are able to assist children to achieve success when using our portable toilet which we have set up inside a camping toilet tent for privacy, or if they prefer, a nature wee. At times when we are in locations with public toilets nearby, we may offer this option before or after lunch.

Tree Climbing
Water Play

Opportunities & Possibilities

Some experiences your child will participate in over time include:

•    Risk assessing and climbing trees
•    Exploring  our living world close up 
•    Collecting, gathering and crafting with natural treasures
•    Ropes challenges and swings
•    Sensory play – water, sand, mud
•    Daily physical movement – walks, climbing, sliding and sledding in winter, stretch/yoga, swinging, lifting 
•    Opportunities and space to explore inner urges – to throw, to splash, to smash, to explore and see what happens
•    Creative & imaginative play
•    Story telling, sharing stories, books for independent reading and group story time
•    Cooking by campfire/cooker
•    Introduction to tool use
•    Birthday celebration rituals
•    Daily reflection and group discussions about our day
•    Team & friendship building group games and challenges
•    + So much more.


Wild Kindy Fees

Our fees are charged for a full term at $75 per day. If your child attends an Early Childhood Education provider (preschool, kindergarten, home-based education) and receives 20 hours free ECE, your funding entitlement with them will remain the same.  Ministry of Education hours cannot be claimed through Wild School.  We receive no funding from the MoE, as there is currently no license available for outdoor programmes.

We are a local, independent, social enterprise entirely supported by local families and community and do not receive any Ministry of Education funding. All fees circle back into Wild Kindy/School and keeping the vision alive and sustainable for years to come.

Natural Discoveries
Wild Guides

Whanau of Learners

We have a whanau-of-learners approach, where we believe that the best outcomes are achieved through family immersion and sharing of our experiences. We require one parent help per session to attend for the day to help support the children in their exploration, discoveries, projects and social-emotional development. These days give family members insight into our daily flow, helps them to witness their child in action and the skills and strengths they hold in this setting and strengthens wellbeing and belonging for the children individually and as a group. As adults with young children, we spend our days guiding and showing them how to navigate our world, this is an opportunity to switch roles and allow the children to lead you in their special place in the world.

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