Skip to content
30 Nov 2018

Nature play keeps the doctor away

Who do you think spends the least amount of time outdoors:
Chickens, inmates or kids?

Nature deficit disorder

Unfortunately, it's kids. Cat Stevens already posed the question 'where do the children play?' in the 60's and the situation has continued to get worse. Experts are even starting to use the phrase 'nature deficit disorder' because lack of nature play is leading to all sorts of physical and mental problems. 

There are also more reports of children going to the emergency ward from falling out of their beds than falling out of trees. This is due to a decrease in unstructured outdoor play that allows children to develop their own ability to assess risk. On top of getting physically hurt, an increase in ‘screen time’ rather than ‘green time’ is also leading to children battling with obesity and social anxiety issues.  

Nature play keeps the doctor away

However, there is a growing movement to combat this epidemic at various forest schools and kindergartens around the world, including a special place right in the heart of Sydney. At Centennial Parklands the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY garden is NSW’s first purpose-built nature play space where children are encouraged to explore the wild side of life.


Go on an audio adventure

Hit play below and listen to the latest Branch Out podcast episode and join nature play expert Sam Crosby to discover the effect something as simple as climbing a tree can have on our health. To get future fortnightly episodes delivered straight to your podcast app, just hit subscribe on your Apple or Android device.

If you are a journalist and have a media enquiry about this story, please click here for contact details and more information.