Best play/nature-based schools & early years centres in New Zealand

As referred by followers on Maggie Dent’s Facebook page September 2017
A summary of people’s comments are listed in bullet points under school names.

Disclaimer: Please note that this list is compiled from comments made by Facebook followers. It is not the opinion of Maggie Dent or her employees, nor are these recommendations to be considered formal endorsements by Maggie Dent. When deciding which school is best for your child, it is important to make your decision based on your individual child – there is no one-size fits all.

However we asked our 100,000+ Facebook followers “Which schools in New Zealand have you observed have a focus on:
* play-based learning in the early years, and / or
* strong nature-based focus in their teaching and learning…”

Here’s what people had to say:

Care-a-lot Childcare – Devonport

  • Blown away with how much one on one attention these children get. Small centre.

Napier Kindergarten Association

  • Highly recommend any of the Napier Kindergartens. Children develop a close relationship with their whenua (land) and develop a strong understanding of the environment in which they live. Strong connection to community. Regular excursions to the bush, parks.

Nayland Primary School – Nelson

  • Play based learning classes.

New Zealand Playcentre Federation

  • Where children and parents learn through play
  • I second Playcentre for preschool

One Tree Hill Community Kindergarten – Auckland

  • Based around storytelling, natural, free and autonomous playing. Organic and spray free menu made from scratch and in homely environment. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Palmerston Primary School – Otago

  • Play based learning in early years

Vintage Kids Kindergarten – Auckland

  • Recommended