Nature play

Watch a puddle become an ocean, a rock become a mountain and a stick become a magic wand. Nature play is only limited by your child's imagination - let them fuel it in the great outdoors.

Children learn through play. Childhood experiences with nature are important for determining life attitudes, knowledge and behaviours towards the environment. To understand and value nature, you need to experience it – and getting dirty is part of the fun.

Step beyond the playground and experience our parks at their natural best. Explore below to get ideas on how to encourage your children to explore our parks in different ways, allowing for fun and learning.

Read the Department of Conservation's report on the benefits of connecting children with nature [PDF, 802 KB].

Nature play kids

Our dirty dozen

12 things to do in nature and the best parks for doing them in.

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Seasonal nature play

Suggestions for how to make the most of the seasons in our local and regional parks.

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Nature play parks maps

There are lots of parks that are perfect for nature play - find your closest on this handy map.

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Nature play challenge

Visit Christchurch parks and try out all of the fantastic nature activities.