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CK One Day Programmes
Conscious Kids One Day Programmes

Terms 3 & 4 @ Western Springs Park


Now taking Expressions Of Interest for 
Fridays Term 1 & 2 - 2023

9 am – 3 pm for children aged 5 yrs – 12 yrs
Running every school term
$85 day/child - 2 terms commitment required.

CONSCIOUS KIDS ONE DAY PROGRAMME runs one day a week during term time, allowing kids to escape their normal routine and take their learning outside the classroom. Like our holiday programme, the One Day Programme offers a 100% nature-based experience that gets Kiwi kids outside, developing social competence in mixed-aged groups, self-confidence in their problem-solving abilities, and awareness and sensitivity to the environment through unstructured/ free play in nature.  With passionate and experienced educators, low adult to child ratios (1:8), and a consistent group of children throughout the term, the One Day Programme is able to nurture authentic, trusting relationships, and provide individualised learning extension and support.


“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as the most important events in their lives.’ Thomas Berry


Children will have the opportunity to make their own choices and follow their own interests and curiosities within a framework of respect for those around them and the environment. Our educators observe the children closely, document their learning through photos and stories, and extend their thinking through authentic conversation, the provision of resources, and offering of skill-building workshops in areas such as marine biology, fishing, shelter building, or fire starting.  At Conscious Kids we recognise the environment as the ‘3rd teacher’, and as the children experience nature throughout the seasons, they are gifted with innumerable opportunities for memorable, authentic learning.   


Here is a snapshot, this is a real example from one of our programmes:  The children noticed a sea bird in obvious distress.  The group developed a plan of action to assist, considering the safety of the bird and of themselves.  In spite of massive excitement and desire of each to be the ‘rescuer’, children talked through their ideas and worked collectively, supported by the educator, to come to a consensus on the way forward.  Google was accessed as a resource for finding a bird rescue service, and a parent helper delivered the bird there.  The following week we received an update from ‘the Bird Lady’ and we discussed the diagnosis of botulism and the probable cause (climate change).  We pondered ways to help, and in response the Bird Lady asked if we could provide small fish as food for the sick birds.  Our group then set to work fishing for tiddlers to deliver, and have continued to do this each week.  The children have been empowered to share their learning with their classroom teachers and school mates. 


Providing the opportunity to learn in a mixed-age setting is another key aspect of our programmes.  Children learn best by observing and interacting with others who are older and younger than they are.  Benefits for younger children include opportunities to engage in and learn from activities that would be too difficult for them to do alone, learning from and being inspired by older children, and receiving care and emotional support.  Benefits for older children include opportunities to practice and develop their nurturing and leadership skill and capacities and to extend their own learning through teaching others.  Age mixing also works as an anti-dote to competitiveness and bullying.[i] 


Conscious Kids is based on Forest Schooling, this is becoming recognised and hugely popular throughout the world. Research shows us that children are missing out on opportunities to play the way generations before they have. Many children are lacking social skills, the ability to solve their own problems and have increased levels of anxiety, simply from missing out on the opportunity to play.  Luckily, in New Zealand we have the choice to take our children out of school one day per week for alternative learning environments, click here for details, and Conscious Kids is proud to provide an option for children that could benefit from this.  For those children who currently homeschool, the One Day Programme provides an opportunity to connect with a group of like-minded explorers in stimulating natural environments.    


‘Giving your child extended periods of uninterrupted, child-directed play in nature, reduces your child's anxiety. Nature is healing.’ Angela Hanscome


At the One Day Programme children will gain:


  • Problem Solving Skills

  • Social Skills

  • Respect for the Environment

  • Knowledge about the Environment

  • Increased Creativity

  • Healthier bodies

  • Mindfulness

  • Confidence to take risks


Our vision is “Little Seeds for a Better Future” as we believe that children who spend time free-playing in nature will develop the skills and attributes needed to be successful in their by school years, and beyond. The New Zealand Curriculum sets out a vision for young people to be “confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners,” and “connected to the land and environment.” We are pleased to work alongside our NZ schools to grow the learners of the future. Please get in touch for more information, we would love to hear from you. Please email for more information.

[i] Gray, Peter, Free to Learn, Basic Books, 2017

* To ensure our children get the best of our free play spaces and enjoy the Conscious Kids way of play, we require at least 12 children to attend per term/ location.

Information to Parents

Information for joining our One Day Programme if your child attends school.

We recommend you begin by informing the school of your interest in registering your child for the programme. You may want to arrange a meeting with the principal to talk about your child’s needs and how you believe they would benefit from attending our programme.

To prepare for the meeting, you may want to do some research about play, and the importance of play outdoors. Below are some recommendations:

Pennie Brownlee book ‘The Sacred Urge to Play’

Nathan Mikaere-Wallis talks about the brain and what it needs to learn.

Ken Robinson talks about what skills our children need in the future.


How unrestricted outdoor play heals children - article


‘Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and invent their own rules.’ David Elkind.


‘Giving your child extended periods of uninterrupted, child-directed play in nature, reduces your child's anxiety.
Nature is healing.’ Angela Hanscom



'Anxiety and depression are all caused largely by the decline in opportunities for free play and the increased
time and weight given to schooling' Peter Gray



“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as the most important events in their lives.’ Thomas Berry


We are not required to register through MOE as we are not a school. We are a small business running a programme for kids, there is a similar programme like ours in Auckland running a Forest School in Orewa.


The New Zealand Education Act section 25B Release from school states: The principal of a State school may if satisfied that a student will receive outside the school tuition acceptable to the principal, release the student from attendance at the school, for a period or periods agreed with a parent of that student, to receive the tuition.


In regards to marking students absent or present the school will determine how to proceed. Legally children are only allowed 5 absent school days a year. They may decide to mark ‘explained absence’. Ask them about their policy when students go overseas for a holiday or attend a gifted and talented programme once a week.


We do not have anything for schools and parents to sign, as this is a negotiation solely between parents and the school. We thoroughly recommend getting permission from the school because our goal is to work in partnership with them, and for the schools to see us as a complementary programme that benefits their students.


Please print or email the 'Information for principals' page so the principal has more information about the programme. There is a possibility that principals will want to take it to the Board of Trustees to be discussed and cleared. You would need to submit a letter at this point, but your school will advise you about this. If this is the case or for any other reason, they may want to see our Health and Safety policies, Risk Assessment plan, or Insurance Policy. We can supply all these things so please let us know and we can email them to you.


If the Principal refuses your request, you can follow through the school’s complaints procedure and then take your request to the Board of Trustees, but ultimately the decision is up to the Principal. 

  • What are the programme hours again?
    9am – 3pm
  • What if I’m late to collect my child?
    In the case of the unforseen and you are unable to collect your child by 3:15pm, contact Liss our Operations Manager +64 27 215 0680 or email Please note: $15 charge will be assessed for every half hour after 3.15pm (see Terms & Conditions)
  • My work starts at 9am, can I drop my child off early?
    8:30am drop offs need to be arranged with the management team, please email, before the start of the holiday. Please note, there is a $15 fee for this accomodation.
  • What should I pack for the day?
    WINTER PROGRAMME: Minimum 3 full sets of warm clothing including underwear and socks. Thermals are essential. 1 warm beanie Towel Plastic bags for wet clothes LOTS of food. They will get far more hungry than they do sitting in a classroom all day. Large Drink bottle Shoes suitable for bush walking. Gum Boots GOOD QUALITY RAINCOAT AND WATERPROOF PANTs Please pack the above in 2 bags: 1 for clothing and a backpack for lunch, drink and trips. And please label all clothing
  • "Do we really need to pack all this stuff, it’s supposed to be sunny!?
    We’re serious about having fun and our packing list is kid tested. This is the minimum amount of stuff to assure your child can really get stuck in with us and you won’t have to come collect a chilly/muddy/hungry kid early! Waterproof pants are compulsory winter/spring programmes. We offer waterproof pants for sale on our online shop.
  • Oh no! We’ve lost some of our child’s gear!
    Conscious Kids is not responsible for unnamed lost property. Please check the lost property box when collecting your child at the end of each day. If the programme has concluded, please notify management ( as soon as you notice something missing. Though we do our best to return lost items, lost property will be donated after each holiday season.
  • What is this programme all about?
    The foundation of our programmes is free-play in a natural setting with as little assistance as possible from equipment and technology. We offer a chance for children to play as they like, for as long as they like, within a framework of respect for those around them and the environment. Extension opportunities will be available but only if the children genuinely want to participate. We provide basic equipment suitable to exploring the outdoors: ropes, tarpaulins, bungees, compass, magnifying glasses, knives (to be used with supervision) and some art equipment.
  • Seriously, no devices?
    Yes. Seriously : )
  • What is the structure of day?
    After a morning meeting from 9-:30am, where we discuss and agree to the UNSHAKEABLE CORE RULES OF CONSCIOUS KIDS, the children are set free to play as they like, for as long as they like. Advice, support and extension activities are offered throughout the day and utilized at the children’s discretion.
  • And what are the Conscious Kids Rules?
    The core unshakable rules of any Conscious Kids programme are: Have Fun! We respect ourselves and others We respect the environment and our equipment We respect others' play we never/ ever go outside the boundaries without an adult
  • So…. what will my kid actually be doing?
    The children whittle with real tools, climb trees, make huts, get wet and build social skills. Playing in the outdoors inevitably means getting dirty, and often acquiring a few scrapes and bruises along the way. If you or your child are not happy with this concept then this is not the programme for you.
  • Won't my kid get bored?
    The honest answer is yes, your child may be bored at moments, but that’s when they become creative and find their own way to play and have fun. There isn't a set of planned activities for the day, as the programme built around the kids' interests. The children have almost complete control of the day and we understand this can take some getting used to. Our staff are trained to empower Conscious Kids to hear the call of Nature! Fun! and Friends! behind the boredom. And since every day is different, with different weather and group dynamics, each day brings new opportunities for adventure and exploration.
  • What if the weather is terrible?
    The program will go ahead in all weather. Rain brings exciting opportunities for play and exploration and of course shelter building! Good quality wet weather gear is very important, so does waterproof bags. We wholeheartedly believe the famous quote "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". Waterproof gear (jacket and pants) is compulsory for rainy days. We offer waterproof pants for sale in our online shop. ** In case of severe weather warning, our programme will be relocated to a nearby hall (you will be notified by email and text message).**
  • So how many staff are there?
    There are always at least 2 adults on session at a ratio of 1 adult :8 children. All our staff is trained and police vetted; at least one first aider will be on site every day.
  • My Child requires extra support
    Conscious Kids takes a community approach to assure our programmes are safe, inclusive and fun for children with a wide range of interests and abilities. Please send us an email so we can work together to support your child having a great time with us.
  • Oops! I meant to book on another day! Can I transfer/change my booking?
    You bet! Bookings that are requested to be transferred or changed before or during the time of the Holiday Season can be accepted subjected to availability. There will be a $30 incl. GST administration per booking. To change or transfer a booking, the request must be received by our team in writing to, at least 2 working days (8am -5pm) before the start of the session. E.g. If your the session is booked for a Monday, notice must be received no later than 8am on the prior Thursday. If availability is confirmed and the request accepted, the ‘administration fee’ must be paid within 2 hours. Please note, staff on-site are unable to authorise any booking changes/cancellations/refunds. For more info, check out our T&Cs:
  • "Oh snap - we have to cancel our booking, can I get a refund?
    Sure! So long as we have some notice, we’re happy to provide a refund less an administration fee. The amount refunded will be subject to the amount of notice given. Please see our full cancellation policy (T&Cs:
  • What do you do with the photos of my child?
    We use photos of our Conscious Kids participating in out Holiday Programmes in two ways: To share our days of fun outdoors with parents on our Facebook page. To promote Conscious Kids programmes. If you do not want photos of your child to be taken or used for promotional purposes, you must state this in writing to Conscious Kids:
  • Want to talk to someone?
    The best way to get in touch about out holiday programmes is to shoot us an email at: For all other inquiries, please email: For any emergency, call Liss, our Operations Manager: +64 27 215 0680
Frequent Answers and Questions
Expression of Interest Form

If you are interested in our One Day Programmes, please complete the form below with your and your child/ children's details. For more detailed information, contact


CK One Day Programmes
Information to Parents
Expression of Interest Form
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