Published in The Courier Mail's Home Magazine (print), 9-14 February 2019
A residential masterplanned community at South Ripley is the first in Queensland aiming to get more children off the couch and involved in outdoor activities.
The partnership between Providence South Ripley and Nature Play Queensland will help shape the community into a place for children to play freely outdoors.
A community Playbourhood Day was held last month where local children enjoyed outdoor games and cubby house building.
Providence is the largest masterplanned community in the Ripley Valley with nearly 700 families now calling the estate home.
Nature Play Queensland’s mission is to increase the time children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. It is founded on the understanding that unstructured play outdoors – nature play – is fundamental to a full and healthy childhood.
Nature play promotes a range of health benefits, including cognitive, social and emotional development, and builds resilience and creativity.
Providence project director Michael Khan said: “Providence has always been about families and one of the things we hear from our community is around the challenges of getting kids out of the house to enjoy the outdoors”.
“We have amazing parks, paths and playgrounds but need to do more to teach children about the value of unstructured, outdoor play,” he said.
Meanwhile Stockland’s Pallara community has started two new activity groups for kids as well as parents and babies.
The nationwide Ready Steady Go Kids program at Pallara’s Central Park teaches children the fundamentals of 10 sports and has been designed to develop motor skills in a fun, non-competitive environment.
Stockland residential communities Queensland general manager David Laner said the new groups offered wonderful opportunities for residents and children to get to know each other and improve their fitness.
Nature Play Queensland program manager Hyahno Moser said the partnership was an important step toward prioritising the health and wellbeing of children in their neighbourhoods.
“Encouraging outdoor play is aided by maximising open and community places and spaces for playing and connecting, and designing streets that are safer for children by reducing speeding,” Mr Moser said.
Ensuring residential areas are connected to community facilities such as parks, schools and shops encourages walking.