Where are the bush playgroups located?
Our bush playgroups are located in Melbourne in various bush and nature reserves. You can view our current locations here.
How do I book?
Bookings open prior to each term commencing and can be done directly on each location page. It will clearly show whether there are spaces left on each location page or whether the session is full. Most of our playgroups are fully booked before the commenced of term so it is advised to book early.
Do you offer casual sessions or a trial?
At this stage we only accept full term bookings and no casual or trial attendance.
How much does it cost to attend?
The cost for general playgroup is $17.00 per child or $22.00 per family per session.
What age group is bush playgroup suitable for?
The playgroups are open to children aged 1-5 years. We also offer limited sessions for homeschool and kindergarten aged children aged 4- 6 years.
Can younger babies / siblings attend?
Yes, younger siblings can attend (under 14 months free) and it is recommended that you bring a sling or carrier for your baby when bush walking as most locations aren’t pram friendly.
What should we bring to bush playgroup?
A change of clothes, gumboots, wet weather gear such as waterproof pants and raincoats in winter. Sun hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, plenty of water to drink, snacks and lunch. The kids can get very dirty and hungry at bush playgroup!
What happens at bush playgroup?
The facilitator will meet and greet you at the agreed location on a mat with a nature-based activity set up as well as some loose parts for a mud kitchen. The children are free to choose what they want to do and parents are encouraged to follow their lead. There is lots of free play as well as activities and a bush walk to explore the area. It is very spontaneous and depends on the weather and seasons and the children get to learn about their environment and it’s creatures in a very natural learning way.
What is the role of the bush playgroup facilitator?
Our Eco Explorers facilitators are highly qualified and experienced nature play educators and come from various backgrounds such as early childhood, teaching, environmental science and working with families. They are there to support and guide you and offer you ideas for nature play activities for your child to enjoy. Parents are still responsible for their child at all times and it is your responsibility to decide what type of risky activities you feel comfortable with your child partaking in. Remember you know your child the best.
Snake & other bush safety information.
Our playgroup facilitators will discuss any safety concerns and information with you at the beginning of the term and your session but it is your responsibility at all times to ensure that you are close to your child and able to intervene when needed. You also need to ensure the safety of the group, so during summer periods, children are not allowed to run off or ahead, away from the group. The children learn about snake safety and are regularly encouraged to stomp the ground when walking to scare off snakes.