Nature play!

As a parent, can you remember a childhood special place in nature that was all yours? Maybe it was the mossy patch in the back garden where the fairies lived. Or maybe it was the quarry down the road where you were general of your army. Close your eyes and remember – how does it make you feel?

With such over-schedule lives and with increasing amounts of technology competing for their attention, children today don’t spend enough time developing through imaginative play and challenging their physical abilities at their own pace.

Natural environments offer children abundant opportunities to do just that.

There is much research supporting the benefits of unstructured nature play to a child’s learning and development. With children becoming increasingly disconnected with nature, the “green script” is being hailed for tackling rising levels of child health problems including depression and obesity. Whether sensory, emotional or social development, natural challenges provide a rich means by which kids build confidence in learning and communicating and a strong sense of identity.

If you’re interested in learning more or seeking out organisations which run programs supporting childhood development in nature's playground, please click here.

Most kids are happy just to let their imaginations run wild, but if your child needs a little prompting when away from the Wii, check out Ranger Roo’s list of nature play activities to do in the park.