25 Aug 2017
We're grateful for the tablets and phones. Screens and technology can keep us connected at the touch of a button.
Playing outdoors is a chance to discover what matters - we put away the gadgets and reconnect with nature and family.
Nature Play SA are the experts on turning play inside, out. Their aim is to create unstructured, open outdoor play for children (and to have the most fun they've ever had!). The benefits are endless: going outside gives kids an appreciation for nature and creates memories to be cherished for years on.
We've chosen our favourite nature play ideas. Just remember: rules don't always need to be followed, let imaginations wander!
1. SPECTACULAR SUNSETS
It’s getting dark! That’s it; time to get inside, right? No way! It’s time to watch the sunset over the water. Can you spot the moment when the sun disappears?
In Western Australia, the sun sets over the water. In Sydney, the sun rises over the beach and sets in the mountains. Why does that happen? Do some research and find out!
2. CAMP COOKING
Once you’ve built your tent and made a fire it’s time to cook some dinner. Marshmallows, sausages, potatoes and damper all taste great cooked in the camp kitchen. Get an adult to help you prepare and cook a camp dinner. Decide on the menu, then get to work.
You can wrap a potato in foil and roast it. Make a damper from water and flour and wrap it around a stick to roast. Cover in golden syrup or jam and gobble it down! Then skewer a marshmallow with a long stick and roast it perfectly till it’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside! Yum, yum!
Create a gourmet camp meal. Push some squares of chocolate into a banana, wrap the banana in foil and roast the tasty package. When the banana has softened and the chocolate has melted, it’s ready to eat!
3. WHO'S AFRAID OF THE DARK?
Do you like the dark? It can be scary but the best thing about nighttime is all of the amazing creatures that come out to play. Possums, bats and owls all come out at night. Grab a torch and an adult and head out for a possum prowl. Make sure you check out the tops of the trees where they hide. Have a competition with your friends to see who can be the first person to spot a possum. How many possums can you find?
4. BUSH SUNRISE
The sunrise is beautiful and it’s even better when you watch it from a lookout in the bush. The day before your mission go for a walk with your parents and find the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. A look out, the river’s edge or the top of a gorge are all great! Get up really early in the morning and walk to your special spot with an adult. Take torches so you can find your way around. Then watch the sun creep up into the sky!
Pack yourself a picnic breakfast and enjoy when the sun comes up!
5. YOU CAIRN DO IT!
A cairn is a pile of stones that people use to navigate. They are found all around the world. They show people where the track is and how they can find their way through the bush. For this mission, you need to make a cairn. Collect a group of stones and make a stack next to a bush track.
Walk along the track for a little while and see if you can spot any other cairns.
6. WHAT'S THAT CALLED?
Take a walk around your garden or neighbourhood with an adult and choose your five favourite plants. If you are allowed to, pick off a small piece to take home. Otherwise, take a picture or do a drawing of each one. When you go home, get an adult to look up the names of each plant for you. What are they called?
Find somewhere high up and get ready to yell. Cup your hands to your mouth and shout “cooee”! While you’re up high, enjoy the view and be on the lookout for other creatures that coo too. Are there birds flying past or ants on the ground? See how many animals you can spot from the top of the hill. Now you know why they call it a lookout.
8. INVENT A GAME
Hide & Seek or Tag are great fun, but have you ever invented your own game? Head to the park with an adult. Take some friends with you or make some new friends at the park. Invent your own game; it can have whatever rules you like. See if you can get all of the kids at the park to join in!
9. FRISBEE TO ME!
Take an adult to the park and find some friends to play Frisbee. Throw the frisbee to each other and see how many you can catch. Can you get the frisbee to fly in a straight line?
10. JUST A STONE'S THROW AWAY
Get ready to skip, no rope necessary. For this mission you need to plan ahead. You’ll need to collect some stones that are flat and smooth. Head to the closest dam, lake, river or beach. Try and choose somewhere where the water is pretty flat. Now it’s time to get skimming!
There are as many ways to skim rocks as there are places to do it. Ask other people about their technique. Do the throw straight down or lightly across
the surface of the water. Now you’re skimming!
Another option: Don’t have stones? Don’t have water nearby? Take a ball to the park and have a throwing competition. Can you beat your own record?
Safety first: Make sure everyone is at a safe distance when you throw the stones and definitely do not throw stones at other people.
11. THE ABC'S OF THE BUSH
Go for a bush walk with an adult and look closely at everything around you. For this mission, start at the beginning of the alphabet and identify something on the trail that begins with “A” then work your way through all of the letters in the alphabet. Can you make it to Z?
Thank you Nature Play SA for these fantastic activities! We hope you and your kids try these at the holiday park this year. Plan your next holiday and have something to look forward to - book your stay today. Click here.