• OOSH in the Bush For the kids

    Why it’s important for OOSH to go bush


Kids need nature – we may have heard it all before, but why is it important?

There is a growing amount of international research around the impacts of nature play on children. Outcomes include:

  • improved gross and fine motor skills
  • improved social skills
  • increased environmental awareness and connection
  • improved physical well-being
  • improved mental well-being
  • greater engagement of imagination and creative learning
  • greater understanding of how to take measured risks and gaining the benefits
  • greater use of critical thinking and problem solving skills


But we have a problem…

Australia has one of the lowest rates of children engaging in outdoor play despite the fact that is well known to significantly increase well-being, improve symptoms of many learning disabilities, and hasten the development of language, comprehension, and innumerable other life skills. Outdoor time is so lacking here that Australian children actually spend less time outdoors than the prison population - Nature Play WA.

A crowded school curriculum contributes to the lack of outside play at school. At home parents are often ‘time poor’, don’t have access to green space nearby, or themselves uncertain or afraid of nature.

If parents and teachers don’t introduce a love of nature to kids, who will?


We’re here to help – OOSH to the rescue!

Centennial Parklands has teamed up with the OOSH (Outside School Hours Care) sector to support and deliver nature play opportunities for kids.

Our trial program, dubbed OOSH in the Bush, saw kids climbing trees, catching bugs, building shelters, and interacting with Australian flora and fauna. Kids were encouraged to run, roam, and engage with nature in their own way and at their own pace.

Since our trial program, many OOSH Educators have taken steps to introduce nature play activities into their regular programming.



Free resources parents and educators…

We have launched a new nature play website to provide information and resources for parents and educators.

And we have a great video (you can watch that below!), but if you want to talk to us about organising a OOSH group trip, school excursion or want to find out what opportunities exist to get your kids outdoors in nature, give us a call on (02) 9339 6699 or email education@centennialparklands.com.au.


We would like to thank…

The NSW Government’s NSW Environmental Trust and the Network of Community Activities for helping launch this new project.

Project Partners

Similar Articles

  • Playground thumbnail_227x134
    Centennial Parklands playgrounds just got more kid-friendly

    With stacks of equipment to try, nature nearby and cafés in close proximity, Centennial Parklands is home to some of Sydney’s most popular children’s playgrounds. But we have just gone one step further and made our two largest playgrounds even more kid-friendly with the addition of a new softfall material.  The Centennial Homestead Playground in Centennial Park and […]

  • Parks Week Blog thumbnailr_227x135
    Parks are magical places – get outdoors and explore them!

    We already think Centennial Parklands is pretty amazing but we are becoming even more magical this month with a family fun Magical Park set up in Centennial Park. To celebrate Parks Week 2017 (4-12 March 2017), we have partnered with Parks & Leisure Australia to help raise awareness around the importance of parks and open spaces,.

  • Tree planting blog thumbnail_227x138
    First tree in and 10,000 more green additions to come!

    We reached a great milestone recently in Centennial Park with the first tree planted in the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden marking the beginning of 10,000 new green additions including over 180 trees to be planted in the Garden – and that’s a whole lot of new greenery!