So you want to get your children outside, but find that time gets away from you? Organise a Family Nature Club with some friends or family to make sure you have a regular date in the outdoors!
What is a Family Nature Club?
A Family Nature Club is a group of people with an interest in connecting children with nature. Each Family Nature Club is unique.
Some meet weekly at the same local park – playing, building friendships and singing with pre-schoolers and their parents. Some take homeschooling families on walks for focused nature study. Some take the form of boisterous bush walks that combine kid-driven play with spontaneous nature observation.
Whatever their form, all share these basic goals: get outside in nature on a regular basis; gather families to share outdoor adventures; and experience the benefits of time spent together outside.
A few key benefits
- Recent scientific evidence indicates direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health as well as normal child development.
- Family Nature Clubs can be created in any neighbourhood, whether inner city, suburban or rural.
- The Family Nature Clubs approach can break down barriers, including fear of strangers, since there is safety in numbers.
- Motivation factor – it’s much more likely you and your family are going to show up at a park on Saturday morning if you know that there’s another family waiting for you.
- Shared knowledge – many parents want to give their kids the gift of nature, but they don’t feel they know enough about nature to do so.
- There is no need to wait for funding. Families can do this themselves and do it now.
Most importantly, children feel better and behave better out of doors. Let them shake off some of the complexity of their usual lives and behave like kids again. Let your friends, neighbours, and school mates help you do it! Start a Family Nature Club!
How do I get started?
There are a number of Family Nature Clubs in WA looking for new members. Check out our club directory to see if there is an existing club you could join that is the right fit for you.
If you would rather create your own, it's simple! Just gather together friends and family, plan a few family-orientated activities outdoors and REGISTER YOUR CLUB. Not only will there be amazing benefits from just getting outside, but Nature Play WA is also offering some great incentives. Sign up at least three families to your club to score either one free surf lesson for up to 16 people through Surfing WA at either Leighton, Mullaloo or Trigg Beach or - if surfing isn't your thing - a Nature Play WA backpack filled with goodies.
The Family Nature Clubs Tool Kit
For a bit more guidance, you can download the Family Nature Clubs Tool Kit that has been developed by Nature Play WA, the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) using the best available research, common sense and parents’ direct experiences. We hope it inspires you to get your own family and friends outdoors for many happy, healthy adventures together.