Kids experience the great outdoors
WATER, dirt, seeds and sand.
It is what the world is made of, yet more and more parents are “bubble wrapping” their children indoors and holding them back from experiencing the great outdoors, according to Noosa CQUniversity.
That was until the campus’ final year Early Education students took them out for some fresh air on Tuesday.
In perfect weather conditions, youngsters from Noosaville State School, Noosaville Childcare and Preschool Centre and children from the general public took to Wallace Park and Noosa Library for a day of arts and crafts, seed planting, water play and puppet-making.
Early Childhood Education lecturer Kathy Bauer said the outing was part of the campus’ advocacy, leadership and change in early childhood course, and aimed to reconnect kids with the growth, imagination and adventure of the outside world.
“I think with society the way it is, people are finding risks and dangers in everyday life. Children aren’t allowed to go and play like we did when we were kids,” she said.
“A lot of parents simply don’t have time to take them to beach or bush.”
According to the university, research is showing that more and more children are risk-averse, overweight and environmentally unaware.
Ms Bauer said it was important not to forget about the outdoor environment and how much it could teach children.
“For the kids, it’s all about problem solving, taking risks within reason and guidelines so they’re safe, but taking the opportunity to experience and explore.”
Early education students Anna McEvoy, Kate Pollard, Emily Cunningham and Natalie Kane watched over the bean planting activity centre.
“The kids love playing with the dirt,” Ms Cunningham said. “They can learn a lot about the world from being outdoors and interacting with it. I think things are just more enjoyable outside.”
The event was held as an early component of Early Childhood Australia Under Eights Week, which this year has a theme of Bush to Beach: Let Them Grow.
Early Childhood Australia Under Eights Week runs from May 20 to 27.
Go to www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au for more information.