NATURE PLAY PASSPORTS TO BETTER HEALTH
Local MPs are encouraging Queensland families to make the switch from screen-time to green time, and sign-on for Nature Play.
The Newman Government has provided funding of $1.5 million over the next three years to help launch the initiative, which provides children with personalised ‘passports’ full of nature-based ‘missions’, to help increase the amount of time spent in unstructured outdoor play.
Member for Kallangur, Mr Trevor Ruthenberg, said the initiative would help increase children’s participation in recreation and sport, as promised by the Newman Government.
“The initiative provides children with passports full of nature-based missions in a fun and easy way for children to develop their brains, their self-confidence, and their social skills,” Mr Ruthenberg said.
“The program encourages kids to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, and enjoy all the things that our beautiful Queensland environment has to offer.”
Australia Zoo’s Rob Irwin helped to launch the initiative and said he was excited to be involved.
"We're so lucky to live in a country as beautiful as Australia where nature has so much to offer. You can climb a tree, swim in the ocean, ride a scooter through the park, have an adventure with your mates, go for a bush walk to explore all the amazing wildlife, and much more.”
"And not only is getting active outdoors fun - it's a great way to stay fit and healthy. It's wonderful to get outside and have adventures," he said.
Nature Play Queensland’s program manager Hyahno Moser said the organisation would connect a state-wide network of parents, educators, health care providers and communities, all passionate about creating lasting change to ensure Queensland children had the best possible future.
“The reason our kids have become disconnected from playing in nature may be complex but the solution can be as simple as getting them involved in this program,” Mr Moser said.
Member for Pine Rivers, Mr Seath Holswich, said the Queensland Government was pleased to support initiatives that encourage children to get off the couch and get outdoors.
“The Newman Government is committed to getting more young Queenslanders involved in recreation and sport and we are delivering with programs such as this, as well as our $47.8 million Get in the Game initiative,” he said.
Children can register to be part of the Nature Play program through http://www.natureplayqld.org.au, and can then access their passport and mission activities online.