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The importance of free play in forest environment for preschool children

Nina Uršič (2014) The importance of free play in forest environment for preschool children. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    A forest is a Slovenian greatest resource. It is a perfect place for exploring, playing and living. Children learn through games and get some basic knowledge for life. However, adults are responsible for children and they have to set guidelines on which children can rely. The most important one is definitely a healthy life and life quality, which are enabled by living in nature and the chance of freely exploring the environment. The main research of this thesis with the title The Importance of Free Play in Forest Environment for Preschool Children (Pomen proste igre v gozdu za predšolske otroke) was carried out in nature, where I studied free play and its advantages. I focused on the abilities children develop in a forest and their gains. I studied a child's play after frequent visitings of the forest and the differences in a play between genders. Together with children I documented the whole process of the play and we analysed it futher on in the kindergarten. I studied myself as a teacher in free plays and my reactions. I also prepared a questionanire for children before and after the activity about where their favourite place to play was, who they mostly liked to play with and what way, and lastly what they liked in a forest and found most interesting. The results showed that playing in a forest has brought children great enjoyment and that they have gained a lot of experience and knowledge. There can also be seen a great progress in all areas of the curriculum (movement, nature, society, art, mathematics, language). Children developed their cognitive, emotional, social, personal and motor abilities and skills. Through free play they developed their imagination and creativity. I found out the play between genders differed, but all of the children still loved to go to the forest. In this thesis I connected the positive attitude towards nature and the broad meaning of learning space, which was evident especially from children's positive experience in a forest.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: forest, the natural environment, preschoolers, girls, boys, free game
    Number of Pages: 40
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    viš. pred. dr. Marjanca KosMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10028873)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2101
    Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 10:30
    Last Modified: 23 Apr 2014 10:30
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2101

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