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.
Nature Play SA, an organisation established by the state government to raise awareness about the importance of unstructured outdoor play, will visit Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln next week to hold information sessions.
Local educators, community and councils members and staff are invited to three sessions presented by the Nature Play SA team, along with Simon Hutchinson from Climbing Tree, thanks to funding from the National Landcare Program.
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.”
A full-day workshop for teachers and educators will be held on Tuesday at the Tumby Bay Skills and Community Centre and there will be an evening information session for parents and community at the Kirton Point Children’s Centre.
Council members and staff have been invited to a workshop on Wednesday morning at the Natural Resources Centre in Port Lincoln.
All sessions have limited places. To book, call 8688 3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org