Research into the importance of nature play, learning outdoors, risk-taking and children's mental and physical health and wellbeing forms the basis for the work we do.

Here you'll find the latest scientific research that shows the benefits of nature play for our children!

Use the Search function, or click on a keyword in Resource Categories to find research about a particular subject.

Dose-dependent and joint associations between screen time, physical activity, and mental wellbeing in adolescents: an international observational study

Summary Background Mental wellbeing in adolescents has declined considerably during past decades, making the identification of modifiable risk factors important. Prolonged screen time and insufficient physical activity appear to operate independently and synergistically to increase the risk of poor mental wellbeing in school-aged children. We aimed to examine the gender-stratified dose-dependent and joint associations of […]

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Benefit of woodland and other natural environments for adolescents’ cognition and mental health

Abstract Epidemiological studies have established positive associations of urban nature with cognitive development and mental health. However, why specifically these health benefits are received remains unclear, especially in adolescents. We used longitudinal data in a cohort of 3,568 adolescents aged 9 to 15 years at 31 schools across London, UK, to examine the associations between […]

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Exposure to electronic media was negatively associated with speech and language development at 18 and 24 months

Abstract Aim This study evaluated early speech and language development at 18 and 24 months, and associated factors, based on parental reports. Method We followed up the CHILD-SLEEP birth cohort of 1667 Finnish-speaking families, who were randomly recruited in 2011–2013 during routine visits to maternity clinics in the Pirkanmaa Hospital District of Finland. The women were […]

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Children’s Play and Independent Mobility in 2020: Results from the British Children’s Play Survey

The British Children’s Play Survey was conducted in April 2020 with a nationally representative sample of 1919 parents/caregivers with a child aged 5–11 years. Respondents completed a range of measures focused on children’s play, independent mobility and adult tolerance of and attitudes towards risk in play.

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Digital Wellbeing Literature Review

Nature Play WA, in conjunction with researchers from the Telethon Kids Institute, has created a ‘what you need to know’ guide for parents on the impacts of excessive screen time, highlighting new and relevant research in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.

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How Outdoor Science Education Can Help Girls Stay Engaged With Science

For girls, learning science outside linked to better outcomes. Researchers found that an outdoor science program was linked to higher average science grades and an increase in a measure of science knowledge.

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Early childhood educator perceptions of risky play in an outdoor loose parts intervention

The integration of loose parts, or open-ended, unstructured materials, into play environments, has been associated with positive social behaviours, creativity, and improved problem-solving, confidence, and resilience.

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Outdoor Activity Participation Improves Adolescents’ Mental Health and Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Declines in outdoor activities and park use during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic were linked to reductions in mental health measures for teens and young adults from middle school through college, according to two new studies led by North Carolina State University researchers.

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PLAYCE Study – Child’s Play

Influence of the day care, home and neighbourhood environment on young children’s physical activity and health: protocol for the PLAYCE observational study.

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Muddy Hands Australia Report

This report, written to support Australia’s Outdoor Classroom Day, sets out not only a snapshot report on how much more playtime Australian children are getting compared to everyone else, but also an overview of why outdoor learning and play is so very important.

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