Immersing children in nature has proven benefits.
21 September 2016
Children of all ages, their parents and caregivers are being encouraged to spend time outdoors engaged in ‘nature play’ to gain a multitude of physical, cognitive and social benefits not limited to reductions in symptoms and severity of ADHD, reduced stress levels, reduced depression, reduced risks of obesity and increased confidence and self-esteem.
Nature Play SA, an organisation established by the South Australian Government to raise awareness about the importance of unstructured outdoor play in nature, will be coming to Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln next week to hold information sessions.
Local educators, community and councils members and staff are invited to three specific sessions presented by the Nature Play SA team, along with Simon Hutchinson from Climbing Tree, made possible with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
By working with school and the community, Natural Resources Officer Geraldine Turner said her team identified the need for more information on natural play spaces and encouraging people to enjoy and make time for being outdoors.
“Kids of all ages love spending time outdoors, however, as a society we have become quite risk-adverse and tend to control play and how children spend their time outdoors,” she said.
“Technology and ‘screen time’ impacts on how much time they spend outside playing, exploring, building and discovering, even here on Eyre Peninsula where we have beautiful natural open spaces, beaches and bushland,” she said.
The sessions will highlight how enjoying outdoor activities have a flow-on effect to a child’s mental health, resilience and fitness.
“Nature play is all about unstructured outdoor play, and letting kids choose their own adventures,” Mrs Turner said.
A special full day workshop for teachers and educators will be held Tuesday 27 September at the Tumby Bay Skills and Community Centre. An evening information session for parents and community will be held, Tuesday 27 September at the Kirton Point Children’s Centre. Local Council members and staff hoping to hear more about Nature Play have been invited to a workshop Wednesday morning 28 September at the Natural Resources Centre – Port Lincoln.
Communications and Engagement Officer