Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published September 12th 2016
Outdoor fun on a shoestring budget
It can really be a tough issue getting our children outdoors to play - 'The sun is too hot', 'I'd rather play with my I-Pad', 'Can I just finish watching this programme on ABC Kids' - a multitude of reasons why children would rather be indoors. So, why not give them some fun, outdoor activities to keep them occupied and help nurture their appreciation of nature - you never know you might have a budding Botanist on your hands!
Look for some Tawny Frog-Mouths - Image: Elaine de Wet
With Spring well and truly underway, outdoors this time of the year is sensational (as long as it's not raining) - not too hot and not too cold. I've made up a list of eight activities that I'm sure will keep your offspring pre-occupied… for at least some of the time.
1. List Ten Things you only find in Spring
Let them go out and make a list of ten things that you can only find in Spring - this can be flowers, birds or anything 'natural' outdoors;
Amaryllis always start blooming in Spring - Image: Elaine de Wet
Take them to a stream or creek just after a Spring rainfall, or perhaps a cruise down a river and let them listen to the sounds of nature. How many different animals and birds can they hear? Can they hear how happy the frogs are? Can they identify them?
Visit a Creek after Rainfall - Image: Elaine de Wet
Help them plant bulbs, seedlings, seeds or trees - this will fascinate them, especially when the plants start growing. Or how about a vegetable patch, there's nothing quite like eating the produce of your hard labour.
Plant some vegetables - this is a bit 'over the top', but you get the gist - Image: Elaine de Wet
4. Dig in the Garden
Allow them to use a shovel to get a shovel of soil from your garden and examine it - how many worms can they find? Are there any other insects visible? Why are these worms and insects so important for our gardens?
Let them take photographs of the same area in your garden at the same time every day to see what comes up and what changes. Make a flip book for the photographs, a great idea as they will have photos at various stages of watching a flower bloom or a plant come up through the ground.
Look out for Visitors to your Garden - Image: Elaine de Wet
These are all fun, educational and mostly free activities that all children would love to participate in. Be a child again, join them in the great outdoors and enjoy what Mother Nature has very successfully put out for our pleasure and education.