Why creativity matters so much (and how nature education supports creative thinking)

Kirsten Simmons

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about creativity and why kids need more opportunity to practice
creative thinking and to develop their wild ideas. But where does nature education fit into the

The late Sir Ken Robinson famously challenged the way we educate kids in a provocative TED
talk in 2006, advocating for a radical rethink of how our school systems cultivate creativity and
to acknowledge how different people learn.
The argument for an overhaul of our education systems is gaining traction, if slowly. More recently,
in April 2021, research led by University of Auckland Professor Peter O’Connor resulted in
media headlines about whether schools kill our creativity.
At Talking Tree Hill we want to acknowledge the serious mahi that our teachers put into
mainstream education and all of the ways they bring creativity to the table. At the same time,
we’re offering a different (complimentary) way, giving kids the opportunity to learn creatively in
nature. We believe that ALL children deserve this opportunity.

Why is it so important?
We’re all about healthy children for a healthy planet. Being outside allows kids the freedom to
learn creatively about themselves and others, to be naturally curious and come up with ideas.

Future focused
The link between creativity and problem solving is well-proven and in the future, our kids are
going to need ideas and the ability to tackle them critically and collaboratively. In an outdoor
education setting, kids can combine the different dimensions of creativity in a physical
environment that stimulates creative thinking and enhances learning opportunities. Natural
materials are inviting and intriguing and inspire creative play and imagination.
Nature education offers children opportunities to think critically, solve problems, stay naturally
curious, creative and collaborative in a real-world environment.

Authentic voice
Creativity in an outdoor learning environment is grounding. Opening the way for creativity and
imagination in an outdoor setting helps us to connect to ourselves, offer self-expression and
helps to form an authentic voice. Because how can we understand others and the world we live
in without first understanding ourselves?
Through experiences of curiosity, creativity and connection, kids develop strength and pride in
their unique cultural story, identity and emotional language.

Why Us