What is Out and About?
Out and About is about Family, Nature and Connection. Out and About aims to connect kids with nature by sharing information about family friendly outdoor activities including bush walks, discovery trails, nature playgrounds and nature craft. We also encourage kids to reduce, reuse and recycle for a sustainable future for ourselves and the flora and fauna around us.
Research shows that playing outdoors in nature allows children to experience physical, cognitive and creative benefits. As adults many of us remember the simple pleasure of freely exploring the outdoors when we were young. Smaller backyards make it more difficult for us to provide the experiences our children need to develop a bond with nature. Sometimes it can be daunting to venture out into the great outdoors for the first time so we provide a safe environment for you to try different activities with families who can share their knowledge and experience. We want to give our children the opportunity to build outdoor play memories by offering easy, low (or no cost) fun, family-orientated activities outdoors. These can range from a play date in the park to a more challenging bush walk.
What is Nature Play?
Climbing a tree, building a cubby, exploring the beach, walking in the bush, splashing, digging, exploring, imagining and yes sometimes getting very wet and very dirty! Children who connect with nature are going to be future custodians of our natural environments, fauna and flora.
You can encourage Nature Play when you are out and about by letting your child lead the play. Children are generally a very good judge of what they can and can’t do. If you have concerns take your child by the hand and guide them through a new experience. Come prepared with a change of clothes, towels and bandaids and you will all have a memorable outing.
Key Benefits of Nature Play
Being outside has proven health benefits. Recent scientific research shows evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health as well as for normal child development. It provides opportunities for:
a) creative and imaginative play which promotes problem solving
b) social and emotional play which encourages co-operation
c) physical play which improves gross and fine motor, balance, co-ordination and agility and improves fitness
d) sensory experiences which assist brain development
e) cognitive opportunities which develop problem solving and critical thinking skills