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Explore the great outdoors this Nature Play Week

Published on 04 April 2022
Categories:
  • Children and young people
  • Parks and recreation
Young boy at reserve wearing binoculars.png

Running from 6 to 16 April, Nature Play Week is a national initiative that encourages younger generations to explore their natural surrounds and enjoy the many untapped benefits of spending time in nature and connecting to Country.

Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s physical and emotional health. Nature play is the creation of play opportunities for children in their natural environment, which helps them to see nature as a place to imagine, relax and explore.

Nature play has been shown to enhance mindfulness with an increase in focus; increase confidence through problem solving skills, imaginative play and creativity; increase physical strength including greater core strength, enhanced balance and increased fine motor skills; create stronger emotional foundations with greater impulse control and sensory regulation; and improve resilience through awareness of risk, ability to persevere and overcome challenges.

Local mum and Councillor for the McAlpin Ward, Suzy Stojanovic, knows firsthand the benefits of Nature Play, enjoying many outdoor adventures with her four children.

“I have found that an upset child will be calm when surrounded by greenery and all of the sensory experiences of nature, and a child lacking in confidence can have their self-esteem boosted by overcoming a challenge in the outdoors – whether it’s finding something, building something or identifying something.

“I have also found being out in nature with my children to be a great way to start conversations and inspire curiosity and research into the things we see – the life cycles of plants and animals, the changing of seasons, and the appearance of flowers, fruits and fungi throughout the year.

“There are also, of course, many fabulous health benefits to being outdoors, and what I love most about Maroondah is the diversity of the natural environments, parks and playgrounds we have.

“In the McAlpin Ward we are so lucky to have a range of great open spaces and reserves that we can explore, and what better time to enjoy them than Nature Play Week,” Cr Stojanovic said.

There are lots of great natural spaces to explore in Maroondah, including:

So, strap on your walking shoes and visit a new park or reserve in Maroondah.

Find a local park or reserve near you

Use some of our ideas, fun activity packs or extra resources to inspire your nature play. 

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