Festival of green time comes to Kangaroo Island

Children making their own animals from clay and decorating them with gumnuts - holding leaves, sticks etc.
Children making their own animals from clay and decorating them with gumnuts - holding leaves, sticks etc.

The tipping point for Australian children, linked to childhood moving indoors and children's disconnect from the real world has never been more prevalent.

But South Australia's Nature Play SA is offering a solution and it's accessible for children in Kangaroo Island the coming October school holidays.

Nature Play is a buzz word and with the likes of influential individuals, the Duchess of Cambridge to name but one and her 'Back To Nature' Program it would be assumed that the message detailing the importance of nature play in every child's life would be saturating society.

That is not the case.

Nature Play SA CEO Sarah Sutter said: "The current situation is concerning here in Australia, reports of excessive screen time and lack of physical activity is linked to the fact that 25 per cent of Australian children are overweight and 70 per cent of children aged 2- 17 do not meet the physical activity guidelines, the cases of myopia has also alarmingly increased and finally, one in seven children experience mental health disorders.

Nature Play SA is Australia's leading, specialist organisation in nature play. It is a not- for-profit organisation working to empower parents, educators and the broader community with the knowledge to turn play inside out.

Nature Play SA newly appointed patron and a woman of many firsts in the world of extreme adventure travel, Katie Sarah is a fabulous role model for Nature Play SA as she combines work with a passion for the outdoors, spending as much time as she can rock climbing, mountaineering and training for Ironman triathlons.

Ms Sarah said: "More than ever before, our vision is to inspire South Australian communities to engage children with nature through outdoor learning and play.

"To meet this challenge and be true to our mantra we are excited to be rolling out our biggest Nature Play Festival ever."

There are over 120 events and 46 organisations.

The festival reaches every corner of the state including the Northern and Yorke Peninsula and runs until October 20.

The Festival is coordinated by Nature Play SA in collaboration with more than 46 wonderful event host organisations.

Through the Festival, Nature Play SA aims to highlight the importance of nature play for today's generation of children and to provide opportunities for families to access nature play events and activities across SA.

This year's annual festival for children explores local flora and fauna and some of the highlights in Kangaroo Island include:

Ranger Guided kids' activities - Play with Clay! Wednesday 9th October Join National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers for a fun-filled morning of adventure! Rangers will guide children through making their own Australian animals from clay and help decorate them using gum nuts, sticks and leaves.... so be ready to get creative!

Ranger-guided kids' activities - On the paper trail Thursday 11th October Join National Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers for a morning of creating your own ranger badge, nature journaling, tracing the Aussie bush, and imagining your own species of Australian animal.

Junior Ranger Exploration with Parenting KI Friday 12th October Join National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and Parenting KI for a bush discovery morning! Children will learn to explore their surroundings and learn the basics of bush exploration. There will be a sausage sizzle provided, along with snacks and fruit.

Flinders Chase Community Open Day Saturday 13th October Join National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and Parenting KI for a bush discovery morning! Children will learn to explore their surroundings and learn the basics of bush exploration. There will be a sausage sizzle provided, along with snacks and fruit.

Ms Sutter said: "We believe in family, community and the important role adults have to play in connecting children with nature.

"Nature Play SA is leading the way in outdoor resources and activations, so much so, that a highly successful Chinese real estate group, Aijia Group located in Shanghai is

visiting South Australia to meet with Nature Play SA to learn about nature-based education.

The company is working on a project that aims to build the biggest nature school of Asia in Anji, Zhejiang Province, China.

Ms Sarah said: "We have the ability and opportunity here in SA to embrace nature play, I urge you to experience and enjoy a family day out screen time free!

"Sit back and enjoy planning your spring school holiday adventures with Nature Play's online Festival guide."

Simply select a region, look at what's on offer, and book tickets or register where required.

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