In just one generation, the average Australian childhood has shifted from a largely outdoors, active, independent, social, community orientated play; to a mostly indoors, sedentary, technologically immersed, highly structured, fearful and risk adverse play space. Children are no longer playing outside due to a myriad of reasons including a lack of community networks and neighbourhood isolation; safety fears; increased car traffic; stranger danger and children no longer walking to school, the shops or to their friends. Not to mention the increase in use of indoor technology for recreation.
Creating spaces for outdoor play
Many organisations are embracing the idea of developing nature play spaces within their setting.
This could be in a local park, school grounds, church grounds, early childhood centre or a kindy, sports club or community centre.
Appropriate planning helps create cohesive and connected communities that support children’s outdoor free play and independent mobility, and contribute to the physical and psychological health of neighbourhoods. Good design enables safe movement through and between areas and provides varied spaces to gather, walk and play in.
The Neighbourhood Play Project
This timely and important documentary is centred on two of our most precious resources…. our children and where we live. We went on a mission: to see if we could find families willing to go on a journey with us, to try to activate their neighbourhoods as places for children to play.