23/11/2020 - 18/01/2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
There’s nothing more meaningful than a childhood spent outdoors in nature, exploring, going on adventures and most importantly jumping in puddles!
Join us for a weekly bush kids program where families gather to enjoy all the benefits that nature has to offer at n the Dandenong Ranges, starting at Doongalla Picnic Ground and then moving to the stunning Olinda Falls Picnic Ground in Olinda. The location is like no other we have used before, gigantic mountain ash trees towering above us, some fallen down to provide magnificent climbing and exploring opportunities for children. The walk to the base of the falls is about 15 mins which we will build up gradually over the term, stopping to investigate fern gullies, play in hollow stumps and look for tracks and scats to learn about the wildlife that lives there.
Our Bush kids program is for children aged 3.5 – 6 years and is specifically aimed at supporting children to develop important social, physical and emotional skills through hands-on learning and teaching them real-life bush survival and bushcraft skills. Our program is based around Australian flora and fauna and incorporates Indigenous perspectives that are shared through storytelling, songs, craft activities, tool use and primitive tool making and bushwalking. There are also plenty of opportunities for children to use their bodies to develop gross motor skills through climbing, balancing and building and we encourage children to take safe risks.
We investigate a different topic each week and each term a different theme from Seasonal Changes, Life Cycles, Indigenous stories, local history and culture, ecosystems etc. The children will also be introduced to forest school and the use of tools in an age-appropriate and safe environment. Research clearly shows that the more time your child spends in nature, the better they are prepared for school, both physically and emotionally.
Our program is also a time for parents to disconnect from their busy lives (and technology) and re-connect with their child in nature. This time is as much for you as it is for your child. Our bush kids’ program brings together a community of like-minded parents who are supportive and welcoming.
It’s an all-weather outdoor program so you need to make sure you bring appropriate weather protection and clothing. Children must have closed footwear when walking in the bush, wet weather gear, plenty of snacks and water and a change of clothes. Our playgroup will only be cancelled in the event of an extreme weather warning; fire, storm, high temperatures and strong wind.
Ages: 3 1/2 – 6 years (siblings under 16 months are welcome to attend for free).
*Parents are responsible for their children at all times.