Nature Plays is South Africa’s first forest school, founded in 2018 by Pamela Martinez. We’re an outdoor-based playgroup and educational program based in Cape Town.
We believe the best way to support childhood development is by letting kids explore, play, and learn in nature.
  • We can develop our self-confidence, resilience, and creative thinking while spending time outdoors, by establishing a strong connection to nature
  • Forest School is an internationally recognised outdoor educational approach to learning. The concept originated in Scandinavia and was founded in the UK, where Pamela also acquired her training. This methodology has been adopted by schools, early years settings, and environmental projects.
  • The Forest School approach involves the whole child: heart, body, mind, and soul.
  • Through fun, nature-based activities and learning experiences children acquire skills and develop holistically; socially and emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually.


We’re a small team of passionate educators who believe in the positive impact a nature-based and play-led education can have on the wellbeing and development of our future’s children.

Pamela Martines - Nature Plays - Forest School

Pamela Martinez – Director & Forest School Practitioner

Hi, I’m Pamela. I grew up in Peru, and that is where my interest and appreciation for nature began. I have a degree in Anthropology that provided me with a set of skills in observation, analysis, and critical thinking. I have always been fascinated by people and their cultures and several years ago I moved to South Africa with my family and began to explore the link between nature, education, and children. My interest in outdoor education and learning through play approach led me to study forest school in the UK, which was such an inspiring experience. Since then I have been taking groups of children to explore and play in nature following the forest school ethos. I have taken a mindfulness course for children and I am interested in the physiological effects of Nature therapy. My biggest passion is hiking and if there are mountains involved it makes me even happier. My two boys keep me active and always looking for new outdoor adventures. I feel the need that children have to connect to nature, to play freely, and to discover their interests. Now more than ever, within our structured schooling systems, children need to have opportunities to learn from their own experiences and to develop skills like resilience, teamwork, creativity, and problem solving that will help them to thrive in life. I am looking forward to sharing the forest school way with you!

Emile Naude – Facilitator

I am Emile Naude and I live for the great outdoors. Having worked extensively in education over the last ten years, I like to combine my interests and experiences into the learning journey. My vocation has taken me across the world and has allowed me to experience non-western culture, especially in education. Music and art are very much at the core of my approach to teaching and the principles allow an organic, natural way to facilitate child-led nature based education.

Eve – Facilitator

Hi all, I’m Eve, a performing artist, permaculture designer, kids yoga teacher and a music teacher with a decade of teaching experience. As a facilitator I embody my in-depth yoga, martial arts, mindful movement practices, and I use music and play as a tool to share knowledge efficiently and joyfully. I’m also deeply passionate and inspired by nature on every level. I’m curiously cultivating an educational ecosystem using music, movement and creativity to inspire eco-consciousness to actively fuel connection, expansion and awareness in a playful way.

Isabella Hulme
– Educator

I have been so blessed to grow up between the mountain and the sea, always feeling at home and wildly in love with nature. The outdoors is my greatest source of joy, and it is a gift to share this love and passion of being in nature with children. Watching their love, connection and ease of being in natural spaces develop are truly special. It is also so important, as for the next generation of children to grow into conscientious and earth-caring adults they need to know and love what it is they are protecting, and why.

My educational background is in Sociology and Early Childhood Development, with an interest and focus on the Reggio Emilia approach. I am also a trained community art facilitator for children, and love to bring this aspect of creativity into learning spaces. My experience of working with children has been both abroad and in South Africa, ranging from outdoor to classroom to one-on-one spaces.

Julie Metz
– Educator

I’m Julie, I studied outdoor adventure-based education in Germany. I’m passionate about the outdoors, nature, adventure, play and experiential learning. I believe nature is the best classroom for the next generation, and I am enthusiastic about creating spaces for explorative and playful development and growth. I find great joy in sharing my love and passion for the earth, our special home we are lucky to inhabit. Supporting and guiding our little humans in building a foundational relationship with the natural environment is a key aspect of my educational approach. I’m also a musician and play various instruments, which I love to share with children.

Engracia Mc Tavish – Assistant Facilitator & General Support

Hello! I’m Engracia and my passion lies in creating transformative learning experiences that inspire a deep connection to Nature, empowering individuals to become agents of positive change.

My studies in Sustainable Development enhanced my understanding of the intricate web of relationships between humans and natural systems. I saw firsthand how education can be a powerful tool for fostering empathy, creativity, and critical thinking – essential skills for navigating the complex challenges facing our planet. I strongly believe that Nature is the ultimate teacher. She offers lessons in resilience, adaptation, and interconnectedness. As an assistant facilitator, I strive to create learning environments that honour this wisdom, holding space for a sense of wonder and curiosity to blossom.

In addition to facilitating, I’m also responsible for a range of administrative duties to support the day-to-day operations of our forest school. Alongside Nature Plays, I aim to support kids’ bonds with the land and its rhythms, equipping future generations with the passion needed to shape a more just and sustainable world.

Andrèa Fedder– – Content Creation & Marketing

I’m a multi-passionate creative, skilled in a diverse background from motion picture production to web & graphic design, as well as painting and writing.

I derive my inspiration through an ever-deepening appreciation of nature. She’s taught me more about who I am and how I wish to navigate the world than anything I’ve ever learned in a traditional classroom.

Throughout my work, I find joy and reason in Nature’s symmetry and seasons. Time spent in the forests or mountains, where I’ve been lucky enough to grow up, is where I soak up nature’s wisdom with the enthusiasm of a child I wish to never outgrow.

My role with Nature Plays Forest School sees me holding a strategic marketing role. I’ll also be nurturing the content creation and design of Nature Plays where I hope to help tell the forest school story and the impact it can have on raising a generation of nature aligned humans.

Kyla Norris
– Holiday Club support staff

Hi, I’m Kyla. My purpose and passion in life are to hold space for joy to blossom in others – as inner joy increases the likelihood that we contribute positively to society, building greater connections and strengthening our communities.

When children are allowed to discover who they are through play, exploration and connection with nature, they become invaluable members of the world, as joy naturally blossoms within them in this state of freedom, and a sense of inner knowing expands within them.

I still didn’t know how I wanted to contribute to the world by the time I was in university and ended up in Biotechnology. Because it took me so many years to even begin to know who I am, my wish for every child is to learn who they are from the beginning of their lives. Through my own joy practices, from laughter yoga facilitation to Secret Sunrise sessions and volunteering in organic community gardens when I can, I’m always connecting consciously with the world around me, increasing my capacity to be a vessel of purpose.