Here’s how your kids can still get a good dose of nature play around the house these school holidays.
It can be hard to come up with new ideas to keep the little ones in your life entertained for days on end during school holidays.
And sometimes you just want a day at home!
Which is why nature play is a great solution.
Not only does it give children a chance to burn off steam and connect with nature, but nature play is also important for your child’s physical, mental and cognitive development.
And the best part – it can be as simple as stepping into your backyard.
With the help of our friends at Nature Play SA and their creative ideas, we’ve pulled together a list of how the kids can keep entertained outdoors at home:
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Your backyard can be a treasure trove waiting to be explored (or if it’s not – you can always plant some items for the kids to find).
Give the kids a list of natural items to find – an interesting piece of bark, a magical pebble or stone, and the list goes on. Download the guide to get started.
2. Creating your own natural play space
South Australia has some magnificent nature play spaces, but if you want to create one in your own backyard you might be wondering where to start.
Climbing areas, gardens and secret places are just a few things that you can incorporate into your own nature play space. Download the full list of elements to get started.
3. Loose parts
Fascinated when children choose to play with wrapping paper or ribbon instead of the present you bought them?
This is an example of children using loose parts as part of their play. Kids often prefer loose parts as they can use the item any way they choose.
Nature is full of loose parts like sticks, pinecones and flowers. Just be mindful to only use items suitable for your child’s age group as some items can be a choking hazard for small children.
Download this list of loose parts for more inspiration.
4. Build a cubby in your own backyard
Cubbies can be simple, easy-to-build structures and inexpensive. They’re also a great way for kids to express themselves and be creative and are also a great excuse to get outside.
Follow these kid-friendly tips to build a cubby in your own backyard.
5. Nature weaving
Think of this activity as a kid-friendly, nature-inspired alternative to macramé. The kids can try this at home and the great news is you only need a few items to get started.
They’ll also end up with a beautiful piece of art you can hang on the wall and the whole family can admire.
Download the step-by-step instructions.
Nature Play SA has also produced a guide of 25 things to do in autumn. Some of these activities can be enjoyed in your own backyard, but a couple involve visiting South Australia’s beautiful national parks.
Looking for more inspiration for school holiday activities? Autumn is a great time to get started in the garden. Read our story on 6 plants for children to enjoy and 5 reasons why gardening is great for kids.
(Main image courtesy of Jason Tyndall Nature Play SA)
This story was originally posted in March 2020.
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