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Reviewed by Ange Birks, Classroom Teacher, Huntly Primary School
Opening sentence
Come outside! There are flowers to pick, leaves to gather, seeds to collect, moss to pat, rain to smell and earth to dig!
'Play Wild' is the perfect inspiration to get kids outside and exploring in nature.

There are many ideas of craft projects you can make using materials you can find in nature from twigs, water, pumice, leaves and parts of plants. There are ideas for growing art, wild art, celebrations and floral fashion. Many of the creations could be made as gifts.

With activities that can be woven across different learning areas of the curriculum, this book would be a great resource for play centres, ECE, Learning Through Play and Primary teachers. The Star Topiary and Matariki Ice Lanterns are simple and fun ideas I will be trying with my year 5/6 class this Matariki.

There are plenty of photos to support making the projects and instructions are simple and easy to follow. Some of the activities could be adapted or made more challenging to meet the needs of older students.

The author makes connections to Aotearoa New Zealand’s history and although there are few direct deliberate links, the book creates many opportunities to view through a culturally responsive lens or make connections to mātauranga Māori.

Play Wild is a great way to springboard into the outdoors and create opportunities for our tamariki to be creative and explore the gifts of nature.
Publisher: Bateman Books
ISBN: 978-1-77689-101-6
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2024
Ages: Any
Themes: Nature, celebration