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Nature Play in SA

Home > Adelaide > Family | Free | Fun for Children | Outdoor | School Holiday Activities
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published August 5th 2014
Fun free things to do for kids and toddlers
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A Long Way Down - At the Dunstan Adventure Playground


The wonders of electronics have changed our lives over the last several decades, bringing us gadgets that we could not previously have dreamed of. From the wireless and TV to computers and electronic games, the things that we do have been impacted dramatically by electronic devices.

While electronics have benefited society massively as a whole, there is a growing feeling that there has been a downside to its impact on activities for kids - how and where children play.

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Playing Marbles (Image Courtesy Museum Victoria MM104111)


In the first half of the twentieth century kids often congregated in streets and their local neighbourhood to play. As money was short, they looked for free things to do. Games of marbles were popular with young kids, and activities like football, riding bikes, climbing trees, skipping and hopscotch. These were sociable games played outside, and most involved physical exertion.

Obesity was rarely a problem in those days - partly due to higher levels of kids' activity, and also because food was less plentiful and possibly more nutritious.

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Climbing Trees at Belair National Park


There's a growing feeling that the age of electronics has caused children to become less active, playing indoors on computer games and watching TV more. Our kids are spending less time outdoors than any other kids in history.

The loss of outdoor adventure playgrounds like Puzzle Park and the immensely popular original Monash playground has only helped to compound the trend, as older kids find little appeal in a modern playground.

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Go Feeding the Ducks


Nature Play SA aims to reverse that trend, and increase the time South Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. It's a not for profit organisation that is supported by the SA government, and Nature Play promotes creative fun things to do outdoors. Not only does more activity make kids in Adelaide physically healthier, but it helps to reduce the likelihood of depression and other behavioural problems. It also helps to foster a closer relationship with our natural environment.

Despite the huge number of awesome parks in Adelaide, many are little used. The urban forest of Narnungga Park in the west parklands is often empty on weekends, while beautiful Mount George Conservation Park near Bridgewater sees few young visitors.

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Walk the Plank - at the Onkaparinga Swing Bridge


Nature Play's website and Facebook page are crammed with creative ideas for free things to do that your children can enjoy outdoors. One of my favourites is a list of 51 fun things to do before you're 12. And for parents who can't persuade their kids to part with their electronic "friend", Nature Play have some excellent advice how to use it to your advantage.

Of course Weekend Notes has a great collection of activities for kids in Adelaide too. Why not visit the adventure playground or climb trees in Belair National Park south of Adelaide? Sail a radio controlled boat, go hiking, or feed the ducks at beautiful Lake Woorabinda in Stirling.

Take a dog for a walk in mysterious Blackwood Forest. Shepherds Hill Recreation Park has many fun things to do - archery, ride on the BMX and mountain bike trails, or explore caves.

Visit the Dunstan Adventure Playground to see why it's one of the most popular in the state for thrillseeking kids. Or see how many water bird varieties you can spot at the St Peters Billabong. South of Adelaide you can try the Onkaparinga Swing Bridge and explore the walking trails nearby.

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Port River Dolphins Take a Breather


In the Port area, take the kids cycling, scooting or skateboarding around the Inner Harbour Loop Path and see how many Port River dolphins you can spot. They will love to try out the new Hart's Mill playground afterwards.

Nature Play is all about finding fun things to do outdoors. Try it - both you and your children will be pleasantly surprised.

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Why? Activities for kids that they will love
When: Anytime
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Lovely article Dave - great links!
by Jenny (score: 3|1573) 1140 days ago
Love reading your articles Dave. Thanks,
by llobo (score: 1|18) 1140 days ago
Nature Play Week is from 27 September - 4 October 2014 in South Australia. Find out more here: http://www.natureplaysa.org.au/blog/nature-play-week/
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|10368) 1095 days ago
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