The well-being and development of every student is central to the mission of Mandurah Baptist College. With this in mind, we were very excited to open stage two of our College’s nature playground on Monday August 12.

Nature play is unstructured play outdoors and it is vital to a healthy childhood and a child’s well-being. For children, play is learning. There is no better space for kids to learn than the outdoors, and there is no better play resource than nature!

One of the best learning experiences children can have, particularly in their early years, is to play outdoors. Children innately reap great benefits as they develop a connection and appreciation of the natural environment. In the structured, busy and technologically-advanced world we live in, the role of outdoor play for children is often being overlooked.  In fact, the more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need.

Nature play is any activity that gets children active or thinking actively outdoors, with the end goal of building skills and the ability to play without the need for parental or adult control. This can be in any setting, so long as it’s outdoors. It supports children being left to their own devices while caregivers supervise from a distance.

Nature play also significantly improves all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Playing outdoors grows resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more. It encourages the joy of movement; it nurtures wild imaginations, experimentation, friendships, social connections and behaviour.

Participating in nature play as a child, also resonates into adulthood. Outcomes from nature play such as achievement, innovation, creativity, positive relationship development, skill development and self-awareness are directly related to employability skills such as planning, organising, decision making, innovation and problem solving. The connection between these skills and the skills that will contribute to success later in life are clear to see and nature play is central to their development.

  • Rob Gratton, Primary School Principal