There is a unique nostalgia that surrounds the books of our childhood. For me it is anything by Roald Dahl and Enid Blytons, The Faraway Tree series.
Children’s books often tell a story of great adventure in fantastical landscapes - a story none too different to ours here at Nature Play WA! When we think about it the stories we read as children probably did a lot to shape the type of play we enjoyed.
Research shows that regularly reading to children improves their literacy, cognitive development and oral skills. And clearly for all of us with wonderful memories of being read to, it is an important way to create a bond between parent and child. However, to my mind, the best part of a reading a book is the trigger for our imagination. Regardless of the type of story, hilariously funny, heartbreakingly sad, fantastical or scary, they always transport the reader to a place formed by our imaginations.
Imagination is not just an escape from reality; it helps children develop empathy, place context around history and most of all enjoy creative play! Nature play, or more specifically, child led play, lets children take control and the creative minds run wild.
To celebrate book week and imaginative play, Nature Play WA has done a book and play pairing guide for your family to try!
The Magic Faraway Tree, by Enid Blyton
Hyde Park - Climb a fig tree and explore the world that is at the top.
Harry Potter, by JK Rowling
UWA Grounds - Perth’s very own Hogwarts; explore Winthrop Hall and the magical gardens around the campus.
Green Eggs and Ham, (or any Dr Suess book really!)
Kadidjiny Park, Dr Suess Playground - Get a bit wacky and have some fun with rhymes at this Dr Suess themed playground.
Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss
Synergy Playground - You’re stranded on an island, surrounded by pre-historic creatures. Explore your new home!
I wish I had a Pirate Suit, by Pamela Allen
Put on your pirate suit, grab a sword and get ready for a swashbuckling good time.
Lockie Leonard, by Tim Winton;
Yallingup Play Space - A great one for older children. A classic series that epitomises teen surf culture in Western Australia. Where better to play out the story then on the beach in Yallingup! A great play space for those too young to get in the surf.
Let us know your favorite childhood books and the play spaces that spark your imagination!