Nature Play comes to the Yorke Peninsula
When was the last time you saw kids climbing trees? You may be surprised to know that one in four children have never climbed a tree.
Nature Play SA (NPSA) is a South Australian Government program with a mission to change the way that kids play, getting them outside to reconnect with nature, and move away from the screen.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Rebecca Brown said that Nature Play spaces allow children to make a connection to the environment and teaches them about living things and how to take care of them.
"Nature Play can have physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits for children of all ages and capabilities.
"Areas designed with these benefits in mind can really bring a community together," Ms Brown said.
Invited by the Yorke Peninsula Council with the support of Natural Resources Northern and Yorke and the Department of Education and Child Development’s Southern Yorke Partnership, Nature Play SA recently visited Minlaton to speak with schools, parents and community groups about encouraging outdoor play, and how children will thrive when engaged with their environment.
Barb Agnew from Minlaton District School found the school workshop informative, interesting and inspiring.
"It was liberating to hear about how children can, and should be taking risks, and that as educators we are in a position where we can provide a safe space for this to happen," Ms Agnew said.
Minlaton resident Jasmine Simes attended the community session at the Minlaton Town Hall.
"It took me back to my own childhood and how much fun it was playing outside in the natural environment, and made me think about how I can give my kids the same kind of opportunities and experiences," Ms Simes said.
If you would like to create a Nature Play space in your own backyard, the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website has a range of Nature Play fact sheets, resources and activities available.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke can also provide advice on choosing native plants for outdoor spaces, whether it’s to simply stimulate the senses, or to attract birds and butterflies.
Contact the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3444 or visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/northernandyorke for more information.