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Published August 5th 2014
Fun free things to do for kids and toddlers
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.
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.
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.
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.