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Ribbon HUNDRED 2019
Let’s focus on what our children, teachers and the planet need to thrive in education today. It’s simple and it’s free. Just get outside.

Green Play Days !

Auckland, New Zealand
Children spend one day a week in an outdoor classroom. Learning to love nature before protecting her. Focusing on creative/innovative skills to thrive as compassionate, conscious humans. Exploring and learning about what makes themselves, others and the planet thrive. We focus on learning from our first teacher...papatuanuku our earth mother. Healthy children+Healthy Planet = Education today.

Nature is our first teacher...take 1 day to save the world.

“I don’t want to protect the environment. I want to create a world where the environment doesn’t need protecting. ”


We’ve been observing what makes children’s and teachers imaginations and hearts sing for years. We want children to love learning, and teachers to love teaching. We want the planet to breath happily and know the impact of education is purposeful and aligned to the future generations needs.

Our Green Play Days are what children, teachers  and the planet need to grow.     Over the past 21/2 years we have created an 18 acre outdoor educational facility on Waiheke Island Nz called Talking Tree Hill. This is dedicated to the wellbeing of children, teachers and the planet. We host one day schools, after school and holiday programmes, school groups, events, festivals and professional development courses for teachers. We have hosted thousands of children to get them  outside at Talking Tree Hill, accessing local green spaces, and spending more time outside at their own schools. We are currently creating a Talking Tree Hill Online series to spread the word about the need for nature education skills and play, respecting our indigenous culture and accessing more creative, innovative and mindful activities for children, teachers and the planet to thrive. 

Our two year ‘Green Play Day’ research project has been accepted into  three local schools, training teachers to implement an outdoor classroom. Making  one day a week a ‘Green Play day’. We celebrate nature education and play, Te Ao Maori, yoga/meditation/mindfulness, art, music, story, tinkering & making, zero waste and  plant education. We are training teachers over a 2 year period to integrate Green Play days into their week and upskill in the learning areas mentioned. When this research project is complete we aim to make this concept part of the regular New Zealand Education system.  Simultaneously, we would love to partnering with other countries to develop this as a global concept in all schools. We need to focus on the importance of developing emotional health of humans and the planet. We need to be the change we want to see.

Why ? We’ve learnt a great deal over 2020 whats important and what’s not. Children are the future ambassadors for their earth and its time to focus on the fundamental needs of our planet. Education allows us to do this, and we want to help.

Heres how...

We challenge a child to be them. To be authentic. Outdoor spaces let children ‘sit in their element’…creating, innovating, moving, laughing and loving. This is what kids do best and they need space to just do it! Find stillness, find strength.

We need planet pioneers to be involved in re-imaging education. With amazing educational enthusiasts and advisors we are creating an outdoor curriculum based around what children need to learn now, so they can be their best selves in the future, and look after their planet.

A day spent creating and innovating and developing entrepreneurial skills.... music & art, creating eco-friendly passion projects, practising yoga/meditation/mindfulness, growing food & caring for animals, experiencing bush, farm and forest schools, and importantly laughing. All this is geared towards maintaining the healthy minds & bodies of our children in a world built on kindness, respect and integrity. A day of breathing out and smiling at the world around them. Spending time with teachers who know how to nurture and let children's authentic selves shine!.

Our Green Play Days have a place based education system supported by passionate teachers who know what children and the planet need to flourish!  A day spent outside learning about the essence of the land they are exploring, and how we keep it and  themselves healthy. This can be done in any country around the world where your celebrating the indigenous culture, and stories of the land.

Children learn to calm their farm. They will learn to quieten their minds, refocus and learn skills for how to help their minds and bodies function healthily. They will learn to respect themselves, others, animals and the planet and become grounded in who they are as a person, and what they give to the world. 

That means learning important skills: how do we speak kindly to each other? What fuels our bodies and minds? What does the planet need now? How do we build a sustainable + future? And most importantly how can we do all of this for free? Well, its all inside of us, we just need to make sure we tap into our own resources and bring out the best that we can!

Children will share, communicate, collaborate and think about their impact on the world. 

They will gain confidence in their abilities, be risk takers, care about themselves and others. 

They will learn that who they are matters, nurture self belief and integrity. 

They will get dirty, run, laugh, climb, jump, do cool stuff that makes them flourish and burst with pride.

All in all, children spend loads of time outside being kids! At the end of it all they will have become Outdoor Awesomepreneurs whom will shape a net positive future. And it just takes one day of change...


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Innovation Overview
Target Group
2 000
3 525
Tips for implementation
This innovation will become part of mainstream educations curriculum. Learning is moved outside for a day to absorb the mind and body health benefits of nature education, and to learn ‘free tools’ to sustain healthy children and a healthy planet.
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See this innovation in action

We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to send our daughter to this school one day a week. Although she is meeting academic standards at school; she is building confidence, resilience, compassion, initiative and so much more at Talking Tree Hill. Most importantly though is that she is having fun under the leadership of world-class teachers.
Charlotte Perry
Cant say enough about Kirsten and the talking tree hill program. The program is innovative , connecting kids with nature and her community. She has created a unique program where kids have an opportunity to connect with themselves and their surroundings. Thru this they create a respect that permeates through their lives.
I wish every child could benefit from the fun, warmth and wisdom, the grounded and grounding inward and outward looking, that goes on with the people, the experiences and the rapidly evolving place that is Talking Tree Hill.
Michaela Hendry
Wow, why aren't there more places like this! There are so many things I love about it. It's bringing kids back to nature, letting them have fun, creating a new wave of earth conscious capable kids, helping the planet one kid at a time.
Kate O'Connell


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Look up the informed.
Know your legalities and make them work for you !
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Set yourself up...then the school will follow.
What do your children and community need ?
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Find your space...find your tribe.
Where are you going to do your 1 day school?
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Be brave and do this thing !
Get your flow together !
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