Unlock the secrets of playing in nature to GROW super healthy happy kids
GROW with Nature Play is the practical play app featuring heaps of things-to-do, tips, hints, and all sorts of information about how and why playing in nature can benefit your baby.
Designed for children 0 – 3 years old, the important formative years of a child’s life, GROW with Nature Play allows parents to plan age appropriate play lists that can help GROW their child's
Health and wellbeing
and Family Bonds
The app also lets users create their own “Nature Play Village” by inviting others to join their play circle.
And the GROW with Nature Play app lets you record your baby’s achievements so you never miss sharing a memory with family and friends.
Up to 30 children can be added to the app which makes it suitable for early childhood education providers and carers.
EXPERT REVIEW: Dr Rachael Sharman
“The thing to remember about brain development is its ability to "wire itself" to the environmental conditions in which it finds itself.
Our synaptic and neuronal development within the brain explodes during the first year of life, and then something rather curious starts to happen.
Synapses begin to "prune" themselves. The connections that are used frequently remain and strengthen (just like a well-exercised muscle), and those that are unused wither and drop away.
Hence the concept of "critical periods" - if you don't learn a skill at the most sensitive age, the ability to learn it later is compromised or possibly even lost forever (e.g. think of bilinguals v late-learners of a second language).
With this understanding of early brain development in mind, is it important to think about the impact of key childhood learning experiences and the importance of play.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. For reasons currently not well understood, play and socialisation within a natural environment appears to confer extra protection from modern ills.
There is a really interesting theory around Biophilia, which is a fancy term for connection to nature. What we know is that kids who grow up connected to nature, who are closer to nature spaces, grow up with lower rates of ADHD, better concentration, they have better self-regulation techniques which means they learn to manage their emotions, they also handle stress better.
We think Biophillia suggests we have an inherent connection with all living things, and when we replace that with artificial connections, we thwart an innate human need, leading to a range of dysfunctional mental processes.
So bringing that old fashioned or evolutionary, biological basis, back to your kids play experience appears to be really important for getting the best possible psychological development for them.”
Dr Rachael Sharman,
B.A. (UQ); BPsych(Hons)(QUT); PhD (QUT)
Dr Rachael Sharman is a lecturer and researcher in psychology, specialising in child/adolescent development.
GROW with Nature Play is based on the Nature Play QLD resource, '99 Things to do before you’re 3', the outdoor play solution for infants and toddlers, aged 0 to 3 years.
GROW with Nature Play is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play