Date : January 13, 2021
Australia Day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate our country than by teaching your children about appreciating and conserving its natural beauty? We’ve uncovered several activities for you to carry out with your children that will be both fun and a great way of learning about conservation, sustainability, and why we all need to care for our planet.
The Night Hike
Let’s face it – January in Australia can be unbearably hot. So, what better way to discover the amazing animals that make up your neighbourhood than to go on a night hike when it’s nice and cool outside. Many Australian marsupials and birdlife are nocturnal, so you and your child could see anything from owls to possums! Take a torch and see what you can uncover, and then try to look them up to find out their proper names. You can also discover if there are any issues that these animals might face when it comes to keeping their habitats safe.
Flora Scavenger Hunt
On Australia Day, why not take a trip to your favourite local park and encourage your children to look for as many different flower and plant species as they can find? Once they’ve found them, you can create beautiful pressed flowers by placing them between the covers of two thick books, or else create a natural collage. Look the flowers up to see what their botanical names are. Australia is so lucky to have plant species that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet – engaging your child in this activity will help them realise how important conserving nature is.
Creating a Compost Bin
This could be as simple or as elaborate as you like. A compost bin will show your children that you can greatly reduce the amount of rubbish you throw away simply by putting your scraps to better use. You can also show them how it improves the quality of the soil and creates a great habitat for worms. This will help foster the idea that sustainability can be easy and effective at the same time.
Creating a Vegetable, Herb, or Flower Garden
Nothing fosters a love of nature better than allowing your children to nurture and care for their own plants, and watch them grow. Ask your children to choose what kind of garden they like, and then what kind of seeds they want to plant. Do a little research with them to see what you need to create your own garden – will you need to buy a certain type of soil? How often will you need to water the garden, and will you need special fertiliser? Your kids will love harvesting their very own veggies, herbs, or flowers, and they’ll learn so much about how plants grow.
This is the big one. It seems so obvious, but camping really fosters a love of the outdoors. Choose a different spot if camping is something you and your kids do regularly together, or else go camping together for the first time! They can see for themselves just how beautiful and unique Australia really is.
If you’re looking for more specific ideas or information from a teacher’s view, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has some terrific resources.
For more fantastic ideas to get your kids out in the great outdoors, May Gibbs‘ knowledge is limitless!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.