Bushwalking with your kids

Six tips on how to make learn­ing with na­ture fun

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - NA­TURE EXPLORERS Ig­nit­ing Learn­ing Nat­u­rally Na­ture Explorers is na­ture-based play­group. Email Na­ture Explorers co-or­di­na­tor Sofia Machado at info@na­ture­ex­plor­ers.com.au

NA­TURE teaches us how the world works. Imag­i­na­tion teaches us how to dream. Play teaches us how to make our dreams be­come real.

With each step down the path, the colours get richer as the light be­comes more and more fil­tered by the green canopy of banksia and eu­ca­lyp­tus trees. Un­der your feet leaves from the sea­son past crush and crackle and just for a mo­ment grav­ity feels dif­fer­ent.

Here are six ways to have fun and learn while en­joy­ing bushwalking with your child:

1. Scav­enger hunt

Write a list of things to find or for non-read­ers you can make a pic­ture list of ob­jects for them to cross off as you walk. This list can be based on colours, cer­tain ob­jects or a cer­tain num­ber of ob­jects, it just de­pends on where you are walk­ing.

2. Take pic­tures

Give your chil­dren a cam­era, they en­joy tak­ing pic­tures. When you get home, take those pic­tures and make them into a sim­ple book.

3. Na­ture rub­bings

A fun way to talk about na­ture is to do some crayon rub­bings on things that are out­side. A tree trunk, the foot­path, a leaf, the drain can all be great ways to talk about the tex­tures in the world around us.

4. Go on a bug hunt

Take a mag­ni­fy­ing glass and look at ants, spi­ders, bee­tles or any other bugs you see. This is a great seg­way into lots of other conversations, like the dif­fer­ence be­tween bugs and spi­ders. If you are re­ally brave you can bring along a con­tainer and col­lect some of th­ese bugs so you can ex­am­ine them closer when you get home.

5. Leaf im­pres­sions

Bring a bag and col­lect dif­fer­ent types of leaves. When you get home make a batch of salt dough to press your leaves into so that you are left with the leaf im­pres­sion. Once the salt dough dries, you can paint your leaves and have a na­ture-inspired piece of art.

6. Ob­sta­cle course

Jump over those cracks in the foot­path.

Run a cir­cle around the bench. Touch that tree. Run fast, stop!

Turn a sim­ple walk into a lis­ten­ing and tir­ing ac­tiv­ity.

Col­lect some of th­ese bugs so you can ex­am­iner them closer when you get home.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AD­VEN­TURE TIME: Teach your chil­dren how to have fun while bushwalking.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Col­lect leaves and make a leaf im­pres­sion af­ter your bush­walk.

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