I took my daughter and my niece to Packer Park in Carnegie on the weekend for a 'nature session'. It was freezing! But we rugged up and got moving. The girls were playing follow the leader, climbing trees and we made little 'nests' for a bird, gecko and ants. We collected a few items such as leaves and flowers to later make a sun catcher at home.
At Packer Park there is a great play area that shows eggs, tadpoles and a frog - so I took the opportunity to talk about my favourite subject... FROGS ... and their life cycle! We followed it up back home by doing a cut and paste activity of the frog life cycle.
I'm always pleasantly surprised at how much kids are 'into' nature activities. It's tactile for them, they are able to smell fresh eucalypt leaves, see Rainbow Lorikeets zooming past their head and hear the trees "talking" (as my daughter says) as the wind rustles through their leaves. I get to re-live through kids the wonder I first felt when I discovered the beauty and amazing plants and animals that occur in nature.
As a consultant zoologist we would always discuss what we had recorded out in the field, when asked we would often say 'just the usual suspects' - which generally meant 'just' a suite of common species. It is funny that now these common plants and animals are what I get really excited about seeing as it is the first time my daughter is learning about them, so watching a flock of Galahs foraging at a local park is once again interesting and fascinating.
LiNC will be visiting Braeside Park for a nature adventure on 7 May 2014, contact me if you and your kids would like to join us.