Outdoor fun the family resolution for new year
WA families are being encouraged to add “get outdoors” to their new year’s resolutions amid growing evidence that Australian children spend less than two hours outside every day.
Nature Play WA and the Department of Sport and Recreation want children and their parents to complete 52 different outdoor activities together — one for each week of the year — by the end of next year.
A list of 200 outdoor activities can be found on the Nature Play WA website, where children can sign up for a free Nature Play Passport so they can mark off the activities as they complete them.
The 200 “missions” are divided into categories — including suburban, garden, camping and the beach — so families can find an activity no matter where they are.
Nature Play WA chief executive Griffin Longley said the passport program was an effort to build a bridge between technology and the outdoors.
“The reality is that a large number of kids spend a huge portion of their time in that electronic world, ” he said.
“We want to build a bridge between that and the outdoor world, where all the important health-generating activities take place.
“At present, the average Aussie kid spends less than two hours a day outside, which is less than maximum security prisoners.
“If you can complete 52 of our missions in a year, the benefits won’t just be for the kids, they will be for the whole family.”
Department of Sport and Recreation director-general Ron Alexander said families needed to make the most of the school holiday period.
“It’s worth remembering that you don’t need to go all the way to Karijini or Margaret River to enjoy the outdoors and witness the benefits it has for your family, ” Mr Alexander said.
“There are so many ways in WA to enjoy being together and the Nature Play Passport program is a good way to get started.”
Mr Longley said the times families spent discovering the outdoors together were more memorable than others.
“The effort to get outside can be challenging but the reality is some of the simplest ideas can translate into the best times you will have as a family, ” he said.
“Kids very quickly forget what they got for Christmas, they forget the movies they saw, but the experiences they have with their friends and their family stay with them for ever.”
To sign up for a Nature Play Passport, visit natureplaywa.org.au
WHAT TO DO
- Snorkel safari
- Super sandcastles
- Let’s go fly a kite
- Swings and ropes
- Billy cart races
- Slip and slide
PHOTO: Eli Jarvis swings from a tree branch as his brothers, sisters and cousins run past.
© The West Australian
More Lifestyle content at thewest.com.au