Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

Get dirty these school holidays with Nature Play Week

Take a break from screens these holidays and spend more time outside with your kids in nature for Active April.

Here are six simple ideas to get you started:

Mud fun (on or after a rainy day, or make your own): Go out to a local park or backyard and let kids get messy with mud, the way they want to. You can bring cake tins or muffin trays to make mud pies, anything that can get dirty. If there is no mud, make some with water. Make sure kids bring an extra pair of clothes and if it rains: raincoat and gumboots.

Cloud monsters (on a day with nice clouds): Find a nice patch of grass, beach or river bank with a good view of the sky. Invite children to look up at the sky while sitting or lying down. Share what you see. Are there any monsters? Animals? Anything is possible. You may see different things in the same cloud, and this is exciting! Cloud monsters is a child-led activity to co-create a fun or beautiful story together.

Nature picnic: Get out to your local park, beach, natural area and bring a rug and food to share. As an adult, have a look around first for any animals or hazards to be aware of. Then let the kids play freely in the park. Of course, there have to be adults present, but allow kids to roam freely and get the confidence to come find you when they need you. Then all sit together and share the food and talk about the adventures and discoveries.

Bug hunt: Make an A4 paper with a table on it. Kids can bring magnifying glasses or binoculars if they have them. Go on a bug hunt and try to find bugs. Look under fallen branches, rocks, on and around tree trunks. Observe the bugs. What do they do? Are they by themselves or move in groups? Kids can draw what they observe on their paper and share with the group when they come back from their exploration.

Nature treasure hunt: Explore your local park, beach or natural area where you want to do the treasure hunt first and note down some defining features, for example, the tallest tree with leaves underneath, round pond with ducks, a big rock with lots of ants, three little rock pools with crabs etc. Make a list for the kids to follow with instructions on what to find at each station. The options are endless.

Nature art: Go out to a local nature area and let kids collect little wonders of nature. Talk about the various things you have all encountered, what they feel or look like, what is their function, how they fall etc. Encourage kids to create a piece of art or story with them, either by themselves or one all together.

Backyard camp out: Pitch a tent in your backyard and have a sleepover with a couple of friends. Eat outside around your camp. Look at the stars at night. What sounds can you hear?

Explorer’s map: Find a place where children can explore freely. Invite children to explore the area and draw a map so that they can always find their way. Invite the children to sit down and discuss the map of the area they have explored. Are there any key locations or things included in their map, and why? If the child has finished the map, go on a walk together and let the children share and explain what they see around them.

Now in its sixth year running, Nature Play Week is presented by organisations involved in the Kids In Nature Network. Nature Play Week runs from 17 to 28 April 2019 – for the full calendar of 150 plus Nature Play Week events.

You can also check My Local function on Premier’s Active April website to search for nature play activities near you these holidays and join the fun! Go on, get outside and get dirty!


Last updated: April 8, 2019 at: 1:50 pm

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