Nature Play in the Park

Welcome to Nature Play in the Park!

A nature-based outdoor learning program, providing immersive and engaging experiences for children, fostering their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills. 

a group of people at a park
Photo credit: Luke Riley and City of Vincent

Nature Play in the Park has been designed to encourage a family-based healthy lifestyle. There is now much evidence that time in nature is associated with better child health (including physical activity, eating behaviours, sleep, and all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing).

This program of nature-based outdoor group sessions and accompanying online modules aims to provide families with ideas and choices for how they spend time together. We steer families towards fun and interactive experiences (green time) and away from sedentary activities on devices (screen time).

The program offers a one hour session per week over an 8-week term and includes:

  • open-ended play based activities, such as sand and mud play;
  • creative experiences, such as making boats and potions from natural elements; and
  • food preparation, such as making fruit kebabs, salad pita pockets and
    damper.

We anticipate this intervention will induce connectedness to nature and result in positive changes in the key areas of nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, emotional wellbeing and behavioural development in young children.

Photo credit: Luke Riley and City of Vincent

Program goals:

The outdoor group sessions have been designed with a specific focus each week but also contribute to some overarching themes and understandings: 

  • Develop a community (participate, engage, and communicate) 
  • Develop a connectedness to nature (awareness of, responsibility toward, enjoyment of nature and specific places) 
  • Develop healthy ways of living and sustainable practices (reduce, reuse, recycle) 
  • Develop a playful mindset (be conscious of responses e.g., what to say instead of “be careful”) 

The children will:

  • Develop lifelong habits or dispositions (creativity, curiosity, confidence, enthusiasm, endurance, independence, persistence, resilience, imagination, problem-solving) to take care of themselves independently and be engaged, motivated and contributing community members 
  • Develop an explorative mindset 
  • Engage with their senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) 
  • Engage with nature 
  • Develop social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language skills 
  • Develop risk assessment skills and safety sense (what’s safe to explore) 

Photo credit: Luke Riley and City of Vincent

Want to know more?

Local Governments

Want Nature Play in the Park delivered at a local park for your residents?  Contact Sarah McGowan, Learning and Engagement Manager, for more information - sarah@natureplaywa.org.au

Check out our videos of just some of the adventures from Nature Play in the Park with City of Vincent!

Parents!

Nature Play in the Park is in the following locations:

2024 Term 1:

  • City of Cockburn
  • City of Rockingham

2024 Term 2:

  • City of Mandurah
  • City of Wanneroo
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