Parks give kids free play days
Colin Barnett with Matthew Ford and Dharik Mudunkotuwa/ Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

More than 150,000 children and their families will get free entry to WA national parks during next school holidays under a State Government-funded program encouraging children to play outside.

Premier Colin Barnett and his parliamentary secretary Donna Faragher announced the move yesterday at Redcliffe Primary School, where a Moreton Bay fig tree has been transformed into an outdoor classroom and students and their families will soon be allowed to camp on school grounds.

Nature Play WA, a not- for-profit organisation, was launched in 2010 to encourage children to get outside and take part in unstructured play away from computers and televisions.

More than half of all WA primary school students have since signed up to the Nature Play WA passport program, which sets children outdoor tasks to complete.

Ms Faragher said every child with a Nature Play Passport and their family would have free access to WA national parks between July 5 and July 20 if they showed their passport at the entry gate.

"School holidays are obviously a time when parents are looking for new and fun things to do with their children," she said.

"We hope this will encourage families to get out there and experience the beautiful national parks this State has to offer, and hopefully get some time away from screens and gadgets."

Mr Barnett said 300 schools in WA now participated in Nature Play WA.

Redcliffe Primary School was leading the way in making unstructured play outdoors a key part of children's lives, he said.

"It is important that young people just play naturally - the things that perhaps previous generations took for granted," he said.

The West Australian

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