Thank you for your comments. We have used your feedback to finalise the designs for the nature play projects at Johnson Reserve and Central Park with designs for River Gum Walk scheduled to be completed mid April 2019.

Re-imagining play in Banyule

These play spaces will differ from traditional playgrounds and provide opportunities for children to connect with nature, explore, imagine and create their own unique play experience by using natural materials and the natural environment into the play space design.

Our Public Open Space Plan explains how we work to make sure there is a good amount and quality of public playgrounds in Banyule.

Local government plays an important role in providing opportunities for the community to be physically active and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. By bringing unstructured outdoor play (nature play) back into our parks and reserves we will be creating child friendly spaces that deliver a host of benefits.

The benefits of nature play

  • Children who play regularly in nature are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks and gum nuts can help to stimulate children's immune system as well as their imagination.
  • Natural, irregular and challenging spaces help children learn to recognise, assess and negotiate risk and build confidence and competence.
  • Children who play in nature are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth.
  • Children who are in natural settings play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and show improved language and collaboration skills.
  • Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and less likely to be overweight.
  • Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.
  • Bullying behaviour is greatly reduced where children have access to diverse nature-based play environments.
  • Children who play in nature learn and develop an appreciation for and connection with nature that often leads to ‘natural activism’ or environmental stewardship later in life.