"Childhood is a time of rapid physical, mental and emotional development. Time spent in nature provides a diversity of sounds, sights, smells and textures, and a variety of plants, animals and landscapes that children can engage with. This mental and sensory stimulation is important in human developmental processes." From Planting Trees: Just What the Doctor Ordered.
In May 2012, Planet Ark developed a report, sponsored by Toyota Australia, focusing on the benefits of interaction with nature for children's health, wellbeing and development. The report, Planting Trees: Just What The Doctor Ordered, builds on a 2011 study commissioned by Planet Ark that showed a dramatic and worrying shift in childhood activity in Australia from outdoor play to indoor activity in the space of one generation.
An Australian survey commissioned by Planet Ark for the Planting Trees report showed that while the vast majority (89%) of Australians who regularly care for children agree that contact with nature is good for kids' wellbeing and development, they don't know that green time can provide significant health benefits to their children. The full findings are discussed in the report, which is available for download below.
So How Can National Tree Day Help?National Tree Day is Australia's largest community tree planting and nature care event, where kids and their families can get outside and have fun. It's a safe day out for families, giving them the opportunity to do something positive for their health and wellbeing, as well as the health of the environment.
With thousands of sites at schools, parks, gardens and other locations across the country, National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day are the perfect first steps to getting Aussie children and families to connect with nature.
Click here to find National Tree Day activities in your area.
Download the Full Research Report
In May 2012, Planet Ark developed an independent report, sponsored by Toyota Australia, focusing on the benefits of interaction with nature for children's health, wellbeing and development. The full findings are discussed in our report, Planting Trees: Just What the Doctor Ordered (2.69MB pdf file).
Download the Key Findings
Download a summary of key findings from the report Planting Trees: Just What the Doctor Ordered (1.74MB pdf file).
Find out more about our academic spokesperson Associate Professor Mardie Townsend.
Discover a range of outdoor activities that parents and caregivers can integrate into a regular routine for their children.
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More research from 2011
In March 2011, Planet Ark commissioned an independent study to investigate childhood interaction with nature and how this interaction is changing.