Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

Let’s get back to nature

Time to ditch the screens and encourage kids to embrace the great outdoors with a growing movement called Nature Play. Develop happy, healthy, and resilient children by creating healthy foundations early in life.

Nature Play Week_500x328_Chani

What is Nature Play?

Nature Play Week logo_500x481Nature Play is a term used to describe the simple, unstructured play opportunities in the natural environment. From worldwide research over the last 10 years, it appears when children are allowed the time and space to be children – who explore, imagine, climb, balance, and negotiate – within nature, they are more likely to show:

  • positive mental health outcomes, such as reduced severity of ADHD symptoms, reduced stress levels, reduced depression, and increased confidence and self esteem;
  • physical health benefits, such as reduced risks of obesity and myopia, and improved recovery from certain medical conditions;
  • enhanced intellectual development, such as improved creativity and imagination, and improved academic performance; and
  • a stronger sense of concern and care for the environment in later life.

‘The variety of sounds, sights and textures found in different outdoor settings provides opportunities for all senses to be used together and, with the unpredictability that comes from being outside, encourages creative play, exploration and problem solving.’

Dr. Dimity Williams, Co-founder of Kids in Nature Network

Unstructured play is the key

Nature Play Week-Royal-Botanic-Gardens-Sarah-Walker_300x200Kids in Nature Network (KINN), have been working hard to create a collaborative platform for parents, educators and organisations to use outdoor spaces for unstructured play.

A part of Premier’s Active April, Nature Play Week 2016 will run from 6 – 17 April, presenting over 100 unique Australian nature play experiences across Victoria and beyond. For more details and to view the calendar of events, visit the Nature Play Week website.

Last updated: November 28, 2016 at: 12:05 pm

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