Whittling as Bush Adventure Therapy

Nicki Farrell, Vicci Oliver

Session type: Regular forum session
Session duration: 90 minutes

Key words: children, adults, whittling, woodwork


Join us as we teach you the art of whittling and how to make whittling sessions safe for children.
The meditative qualities and side-by-side nature of whittling make it an excellent choice for Bush Adventure therapy. Children are able to tap into their imaginations as well as learn about their local environment as they cut down weed species to use for their projects. The added benefit of being a ‘risky’ activity provides children with a sense of pride and confidence.

In this session you will be taught how to lead a safe whittling session for children from ages 3 to adulthood. You will learn what types of wood are best for whittling, how to preserve it. You will learn and use the tools we recommend and we will teach you how to make your own primitive weapons for imaginary play. Ideas include bow and arrows, spears, knives and daggers!

About the presenter/s

Raised on a farm in remote South Australia, Nicki’s favourite childhood memories are of family camping trips, climbing trees, hiding amongst wool bales and rock-hopping over rock pools.

Accidentally stumbling across the respectful attachment parenting philosophy shortly after having her first child, enabled Nicki to begin to trust her child’s innate curiosity and insatiable appetite to learn through play, which in turn led the family down the rabbit hole of alternative education options and the inception of Wildlings Forest School.

As founder and director of Wildlings Forest School, Nicki’s passions and expertise lie in bush skills, educating educators, creating community connections, ecological literacy, environmental protection and stewardship, and ensuring diversity and alternatives in our education systems to better prepare our children for an uncertain future.

The ocean has always been home for Vicci. Living in South East Queensland has been the perfect backdrop for a life of adventure chasing dolphins and whales on a mission to spread a love for the natural world.

After spending a few years teaching in traditional schools, Vicci’s world was soon opened to alternative models of learning, particularly the Forest School philosophy, after the birth of her first daughter. The philosophy embodied many of Vicci’s own lifestyle values and seemed to be the perfect blend of world-schooling and wild-schooling.

As founder and director of Wildlings Forest School, Vicci’s passions and expertise lie in marine education, respectful communication, child empowerment and educational freedom of choice.