Anyone who knows my work knows that I am a HUGE advocate for play, especially nature play. Basically our children learn almost everything they need to know about life through play, from physical coordination, decision-making and problem solving to empathy and social and emotional skills.
As I wrote in my book 9 Things:
“Play is the way babies and children develop their sense of self, sense of the world, and sense of where they fit in. Children are biologically wired to play. Play is very serious business for them. Opportunities for play are essential because they help a child learn many of the emotional and social competencies. These cannot be developed through direct verbal interaction with adults. Solo play, parallel play, imaginative, adult-directed and interactive play are all healthy forms of play for children to experience in childhood. However, there are so many factors that are eroding children’s opportunities to play and so many busy parents tell me they simply struggle to make the time for such opportunities. Children really need opportunities for creative, exploratory play in stress-free environments, especially in nature without restrictions on time or freedom.”
We need to prioritise play, especially in this world where a tsunami of screens has massively changed the way we interact with each other, learn and engage. I hope the resources on this page will support you in prioritising play, and see that it is anything but kids’ business.
Nature Play Gallery
The nature play revolution is happening! Visit our gallery to see some inspiring examples of schools & communities around Australia that have integrated the principles of nature play into their play space.