Outdoor day draws hundreds of kids outside to play

Hundreds of students across Kalgoorlie-Boulder took the opportunity to get out of their classrooms yesterday, swapping desks for nature for 2018 Outdoor Classroom Day.

More than 60,000 students across the State took part in the event, organised by health organisation Nature Play to improve the health and wellbeing of children by encouraging outdoor play.

Nature Play WA chief executive officer Griffin Longley said only 55 per cent of Australian kids were playing outside each day according to a new report.

“Modern children spend more time indoors than any other generation in history, but the pendulum is starting to swing back to a more balanced experience of childhood, with more than 2000 Australian schools and early learning centres getting involved in Outdoor Classroom Day,” he said.

He said studies proved an increased outdoor play helped children improve social skills, creativity, imagination, teamwork and behaviour.

The entire cohort at St Joseph’s Primary School in Boulder joined in for the event, enjoying water play, scavenger hunts, alphabet games and learning from the environment around them.

Deputy principal Natasha Gregory said the school had put an emphasis on play-based education this year and the children loved the outdoor activities. “The students thrive with anything different,” she said. “Anything you change in the classroom they love, so when it’s outside, it’s even better.”

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