Put down the iPads and go Outside!

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2006
David Bond with Hyano Moser at the Nature Play Qld presentation at Ipswich’s Studio 188

UK Filmmaker David Bond who has the unusual job title of ‘Nature Marketing Director’ wants to sell our kids on nature.

“It’s fun, free and good for you, and there aren’t many things you can say that about!” David beams.

Founder of  ‘Project Wild Thing’, which kick-started ‘The Wild Network’, is an organisation urging children and families to get back to nature.

David is worried about the huge rise in ‘screen time’, leading to an abandonment of nature. He sees huge problems associated with this preoccupation with gaming and other app-based pursuits.

“Side effects include poor child health and physical development, the onset of depression and obesity due to lack of engagement and physical exercise, ultimately a wasted childhood,” David said.

Appearing at Studio 188 in Ipswich recently David talked about the four main reasons kids aren’t going outside and why they are losing connection with nature.

Fear. People seem afraid to let their children play or be outside,  because of factors such as stranger danger, traffic accidents, and generally a risk-averse approach.

Time. People are busier than ever and ‘wild time’ gets squeezed out of busy lives and schedules.

Space. Rapidly vanishing green space, with property development.

Technology. A huge rise associated with long periods of ‘screen time’. Kids are glued to computer games, iPads, television, and are submerged in a completely virtual world online.

Nature Play Qld, as part of the Wild Network, are doing some great work right here in Ipswich and all over Queensland in getting children back outside. They have some great tools on how to get started including fun activity checklists and their ‘Passport to an Amazing Childhood’ initiative. Kids are provided with missions and they get stickers when they complete them. The aim is to fill uptheir passport.

There’s also a ‘Reviving Neighbourhood Play’ project, and they are working towards getting communities to know their neighbours.

In a world where technology is taking over our everyday lives, we need to take a step back and just appreciate our planet, make the time to take our kids outside and get involved in playtime and healthy physical activities.

It is our responsibility to give our children that connection with our world for their own health and for the future of our planet.

As David says, “If we don’t give our children that connection with our planet and nature, no one will care enough to save it.”

Visit natureplay.org.au and print off a fun checklist and watch the full movie ‘Project Wild Thing ‘ and get inspired!