Need help getting your children back into nature? There’s an app for that!
There is a growing body of research that points to nature play as an essential component of ensuring a child’s well-being and development.
Contact with nature invokes a number of health benefits for children, including improved cognitive function, increased creativity, reduced symptoms of disorders such as ADHD and mental illness, and better developed gross motor skills.
But by nature play, we’re not talking about signing your child up for a team sport, or arranging strictly supervised play dates.
Instead, we are referring to allowing children to get their hands dirty as they explore, collect, imagine, build, splash, climb, crawl and run.
For unstructured outdoor play to become a normal part of every child’s life, ensuring that kids can develop into resilient, healthy and creative members of the community, nature play needs to begin from birth.
Nature Play Queensland is a not for profit organisation that aims to work innovatively and collaboratively to make nature play a normal part of childhood again.
One of the excellent resources they offer is the GROW with Nature Play App, which encourages nature play in babies and toddlers. The app supports parents and carers of children up to three years of age, and provides ideas for getting outdoors and playing in nature.
GROW with Nature Play App
The aim for the GROW with Nature Play App is to establish healthy outdoor play habits right from the beginning of children’s lives, and to lay the foundations for healthy and happy childhoods.
Many of us like the idea of encouraging more outdoor play for our kids, especially when we reflect nostalgically on our own childhoods, but sometimes it is difficult to initiate this play with our children.
This is where the GROW with Nature Play App comes in, with 99 nature play activity suggestions, nature play charts (to track your child’s adventures), the nature play village (so you can share your experiences with friends and family), and the nature play journal, which will become a lovely keepsake.
The app not only give parents and carers ideas of things to do with babies, infants and toddlers in the outdoors, but also helps you to track how these activities support your child’s major developmental areas.
- try one of the 99 nature play activities for babies, infants and toddlers
- add photos and videos to the nature play journal
- track how and why nature play activities support your baby’s development
- share your nature play adventures with family and friends
- organise outdoor play dates with fellow nature players
Developed in Queensland, this innovative tool is simple to navigate and update. To purchase the GROW with Nature Play App for $2.99, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play. All proceeds help Nature Play QLD to provide resources and services for Queensland children and their families.