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Adding new meaning to time out

Students will be able to explore the relationship between their own health and wellbeing, and that of spending time outdoors as part of the new ‘Health and wellbeing in nature’ education program being offered by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Education Team.

The program at Melbourne Gardens is for primary to secondary school age students. The common threads of mindfulness, healthy eating, gentle exercise and immersion in the natural world run through the programs which are organised according to age/class level and the season and are delivered in the rich landscape of Melbourne Gardens.

On a visit to Melbourne Gardens, students will discover the reflective peace of a walk through Fern Gully, enjoy the tactile experience of making potpourri or creating a mandala using found materials, peer through a leaf window, and talk about the importance of healthy eating and of spending time in the outdoors.

In a time where we are more and more connected to our technological devices and where children are considered to be ‘digital natives’ who are technologically savvy from a very early age a new study involving 2,500 children has found that children’s attention and memory function benefit significantly from spending time outdoors.

This has confirmed what we’ve known for a very long time – the benefits of spending time outdoors are invaluable. Health and wellbeing is interconnected with time spent in natural environments.

Being in nature reduces anger, fear, anxiety and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to overall to your physical wellbeing, by reducing blood pressure, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

The ‘Health and wellbeing in nature’ program for students is also being offered as a Professional Development program for student teachers that will equip them with ideas and practical activities for encouraging their future students to spend time outdoors.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria education programs are led by qualified teachers using a learner-centred approach to teaching. Programs are based on the AusVELS and POLT (Priniciples of Learning and Teaching) frameworks. Morning and afternoon sessions are available and costs are $11.20 per student incl. GST or $202 per class (for small groups); teachers and are adults free.

For bookings and further information please contact the Education Office on 9252 2358 or email edserv@rbg.vic.gov.au.