Nature Play Australia is an alliance of not-for-profit associations established to increase the time Australian 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 is, of itself, an intrinsic good and from it flow benefits in health, cognitive, social and emotional development and in the building of resilience and creativity. Experience in nature as a child also leads to environmental stewardship later in life.
Nature Play Australia is a collaborative alliance working with partner groups to encourage Australian communities to value nature play and families to prioritise it in children’s lives.
Nature Play Australia began as an initiative of the Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation (now the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries) and was inspired by the ideas of American social commentator Richard Louv and the Children and Nature Network.
In 2011, Nature Play WA became an independent not-for-profit and has since worked with State Government's in South Australia, Queensland and ACT to create Nature Play organisations in those states under license.