Nature Play WA Inc is an incorporated not-for-profit association established to increase the time Western Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.
It is founded on the understanding that unstructured play outdoors (nature play) is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood. Nature play is, of itself, an intrinsic good and from it flow benefits in health, cognitive, social and emotional development and in the building of resilience and creativity. Experience in nature as a child also leads to environmental stewardship later in life.
Nature Play WA is a collaborative organisation working with partner groups to encourage the WA community to value nature play and families to prioritise it in children’s lives. The organisation's primary role is to spread the nature play message and to work to increase access to nature play resources, events and programs.
Nature Play WA began as an initiative of the Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation (now the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries) and was inspired by the ideas of American social commentator Richard Louv and the Children and Nature Network.
In February 2014, the Nature Play WA family expanded to include Queensland and South Australia after their respective State Governments announced the launch of Nature Play SA and Nature Play QLD, followed in 2016 by Nature Play CBR (Canberra). These organisations are built on the Nature Play WA model and form part of the Nature Play Australia umbrella organisation. All four states work together to raise awareness of the importance of unstructured play and to build the nature play movement throughout Australia.