6) Outdoors and in nature

The amount of time that many children spend playing outdoors and in natural settings is severely declining, jeopardizing their knowledge of and comfort with the natural world, as well as opportunities to benefit from play outdoors. Outdoor play, and play with and in nature, provides diverse and ever-changing experiences which support healthy child development and learning. This theme invites a broad range of topics around children’s play and learning outdoors and in nature, including:

  • Outdoor play; playing out in all seasons
  • Nature play; exposure to nature through play
  • Natural playgrounds; impacts of playspace greening
  • Nature schools; forest schools
  • Natural inquiry; experiential learning in nature
  • Environmental/ecological learning
  • Environmental stewardship through play
  • Adventure or ‘risky’ play outdoors
  • Play and sustainability
  • Indigenous play connections to nature