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Bush Skills for the Hills

Home > Perth > Animals and Wildlife | Environment | Fun for Children | Kids | Outdoor
by Suze C (subscribe)
"I'm a writer living in the Perth Hills with my relentlessly fun seeking children.
Published February 16th 2017
Putting Kids Where they Belong
Long days spent in the bush, the smell of gum trees, black cocky's in the tree tops, paper barks shedding their skins and blue tongues slinking through the undergrowth. These are the sights and sounds that many kids grew up with throughout Australia. We trailed about in gangs, made whistles with gumnuts and caught grasshoppers and frogs, now we're all grown, we are sadly losing many of these environments through urbanisation and with them, the simple pleasures that we had.

Simple Pleasures
Simple Pleasures

Getting Involved
Kids are more likely to be making gaming videos than making cubbies these days and without a new generation of children who really care about these wild places, they might disappear entirely.

Getting out and about with the family for a weekend bush walk in one of the national parks is one way to help, but there are other options to get involved in learning about the local habitat and how to look after it that are geared more towards children.

Getting Hands on with Nature
Getting Hands on with Nature

Bush Savvy Kids
Bush Skills for the Hills is a Perth hills based initiative that runs a number of workshops and education programmes with the aim of having fun, whilst learning about conservation and the environment. The programme last year had a number of opportunities for all ages of kids to get involved on a grass roots level. We learned how to identify which birds had been snacking on gum nuts, just by looking at the way they nibbled into them.

Unlocking the Snacking Secrets of Parrots
Unlocking the Snacking Secrets of Parrots

Close Encounters
We used microscopes and hand lenses to identify plants and insects and got up close and personal with a variety of visiting birds and animals. It's a quality programme that is both friendly and fun.

The kids just loved being able to run about in a space that wasn't man made and although the programme has a well-equipped base in the heart of the Kalamunda bush, they also provide workshops to other locations in the hills area and are involved in outreach sessions for community groups and schools education.

Bush Skills Course Popular with Kidss
Bush Skills Course Popular with Kids

Birds and Barks
Our particular favourites were the sessions with the birds of prey. We were fortunate to meet a very vocal barking owl that had all the kids in fits of laughter every time it 'woofed' and a beautiful wedge tail eagle. On one of the visits, the Kanyana Wildlife Centre brought in a collection of creatures great and small. The bilby was a huge hit with everyone. Although my seven year old was rather taken with the echidna and its ridiculously long tongue.

Super Woofer
Super Woofer

Quenda's and Culture
This year's programme promises to be just as exciting as previous years with a quenda quest, an indigenous cultural workshop, bush tucker and a look at just how you protect a habitat. The workshops are always very popular and geared toward getting kids, not just active in the bush, but also in their local community. We need more young people to experience nature and get hooked on it.

Echidna licking his plate clean
Echidna licking his plate clean

Step Up
Our world has enough gamers and they tell us in the future that we will need more coders, but I have a hunch we are also going to need more tree climbers, bug rescuers and nest box builders. We are only going to get them if we let kids into the bush to discover the things that we took for granted. We should give the baton to the next generation of bush caretakers because it's something worth passing on.
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Why? Get Kids back into Nature
When: Various Dates Feb-June
Phone: 0894242216
Where: Kalamunda and Surrounds
Cost: Free
Your Comment
A nice way for kids to explore the great outdoors, it's such a great idea
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 2174 days ago
I loved this article and it's so true, we have been lucky to have our beautiful WA bush and park areas to roam and play freely. It's part of being west Australian and I want my daughter to inherit ownership and care for the environment. She will love this workshop thanks Suze Q
by krist (score: 0|2) 2170 days ago
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