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Passport to an Amazing Childhood program encourages outdoor play
An innovative program from Queensland community organisation Nature Play QLD has signed up 130,000 children for a series of outdoor play and recreation programs.
Encouraging children to swap their screen time for ‘green time’ (unstructured play in nature), the Passport to an Amazing Childhood program challenges them to complete a series of age appropriate ‘nature play missions’ and record their results in their Nature Play passports.
Nature Play QLD Program Manager, Hyahno Moser, said the success of the passport program showed children can be encouraged to disengage from screens and rediscover healthy outdoor play if given the right tools.
Moser explained “since Nature Play QLD launched 18 months ago we have been inundated with families, educators and organisations wanting to get these free Nature Play passports into the hands of Queensland kids.
“The sole purpose of the Nature Play passports are to inspire and encourage active and healthy outdoor play and have proven that practical programs can get our kids off their screens and back outside engaging in healthy outdoor play.
“More than 130,000 Nature Play Passports have now been issued to over 800 towns and suburbs right across Queensland, which means almost 20% of Queensland kids under the age of 12 are now inspired to spend more time outdoors being active resulting in a healthier screen use balance.
“The Nature Play passport is an important resource to help parents to raise healthy, resilient and creative children in the modern digital world.”
The recently released Australian Child Health Poll, conducted by Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, revealed that time spent in front of screens, obesity, and a lack of physical activity are the top three health concerns that Australian parents have for their children.
Moser comments “even though technology has many benefits, it promotes narcissistic behaviour.
"Children are becoming anxious about missing out if not connected to justify why they are not getting outside."
Moser is all too aware of the benefits for children who put down their devices and go back outside to play and feels that the Passport to an Amazing Childhood program can be inspiration to get children back outside participating in healthy, unstructured, outdoor play.
Nature Play QLD has also released a new program, the Nature Play Holiday Play List, a series of 20 playlists featuring the top 10 things to do and places to go, for example 10 things to do in the mud.
The lists, created in collaboration with other organisations concerned about the lack of outdoor play children are involved in, cover everything from backyard challenges to exploring bushland, providing ideas and inspiration to help get kids back outside playing in nature.
The Nature Play passport program originated in Western Australia and is in the process of being rolled out across Australia.
For more information go to www.natureplayqld.org.au
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9th April 2015 - NEW MOVEMENT AIMS TO GET CHILDREN PLAYING OUTSIDE
5th May 2014 - NATURE PLAY PASSPORTS TO ENCOURAGE ACTIVITY FOR CHILDREN
27th February 2014 - WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S NATURE PLAY INITIATIVE GOES NATIONAL
6th September 2011 - PRAV EVOLVES INTO PLAY AUSTRALIA
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