Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

THERE is noth­ing quite like out­door play to en­cour­age chil­dren to con­nect with each other – and for­get the lat­est on­line craze for a while.

Each week, thou­sands of South Aus­tralian school stu­dents head to Scouts SA’s Wood­house Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre, at Pic­cadilly in the Ade­laide Hills, to do just that.

Scouts SA’s Kathrine Hast­well says ac­tiv­i­ties, such as cross­ing a river us­ing ropes, are aimed to pro­vide young peo­ple a range of ex­pe­ri­ences as well as en­cour­age “re­spon­si­ble risk tak­ing”. “(It’s) all about learn­ing by do­ing and help­ing young peo­ple to build re­silience through over­com­ing chal­lenges,” she said.

She said the value of sim­ply be­ing in the fresh air as well as face-to-face play can’t be un­der­es­ti­mated. “It can have the added bonus of get­ting mum and dad away from their screens and out­side too,” she said.

Stay Ac­tive Chil­dren’s Sports Pro­grams man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Carly Fuda says ”prac­tis­ing what you preach” is vi­tal. “If chil­dren wit­ness their par­ents lead­ing an ac­tive life­style, chances are they will want to do the same ... so, by set­ting a good ex­am­ple and lim­it­ing your own screen time in front of chil­dren, it will en­cour­age them to seek al­ter­na­tive ways to keep oc­cu­pied,” she said. “En­cour­age play­time that fo­cuses around phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. Sug­gest go­ing for a walk or bike ride to­gether, visit the lo­cal play­ground or en­cour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion in af­ter­school sports ... Ade­laide has some great walk­ing trail op­tions.”

FRESH AIR: SA scouts af­ter a big day out at the Wood­house Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre. Pic­ture: RUS­SELL MIL­LARD/AAP

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