The West

Outdoor play gets kids stamp of approval
Nature Play WA CEO, Griffin Longley and Terry Waldron at Redcliffe Primary School. Picture: Ian Munr/The West Australian

Nature Play WA has reached new heights with 50,000 children receiving special Passports to an Amazing Childhood.

Students at Redcliffe Primary School, which has just opened a new outdoor classroom, received theirs this week.

Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said the State Government funded the passport project because taking part in unstructured play was not only physically and mentally good for kids but also helped improve their social skills.

"The passport gives the kids a lot of things they should do before they're 12 and that's just an encouragement tool to get them to want to do those things," Mr Waldron said.

"Having unstructured play with other kids means that they learn from each other, and we've also found that when kids are physically active and in touch with nature they actually do better in the classroom."

Redcliffe principal Chad Sexton-Finck agreed and said he believed the school got the third highest NAPLAN results in the country because it encouraged students to get outside.

The school's outdoor classroom is under a tree with tyres hanging from the branches, ropes for swinging and rope climbing walls.

Nature Play WA chief executive Griffin Longley said the 10 activities that Redcliffe students completed to get their passport stamped would all contribute to them playing safely in the outdoor classroom.

Enjoying the activities under the tree, 12-year-old Eleanor Hosking said: "I think it's fun because you can get outdoors and get more active instead of sitting in front of the TV.

"If you're fit and active, then you'll probably live longer."

The West Australian

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