National Tree Day Get involved with 10 nature-based activities for kids

Library Home  >  Arts, Crafts & Activity IdeasSustainability
  Published on Wednesday, 25 July 2018

National Tree Day Get involved with 10 nature-based activities for kids

Library Home  >  Arts, Crafts & Activity IdeasSustainability
  Published on Wednesday, 25 July 2018
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July is the month to dig deep and teach young Australians about the importance of plant life. With Schools Tree Day happening on 27 July and National Tree Day scheduled for 29 July, there are two great opportunities to connect with nature and do something positive for the planet.

Let's see how your family can get involved and go green.

What is National Tree Day?

Simply put, National Tree Day is Australia's biggest tree-planting and nature care event. It was co-founded by Planet Ark and Olivia Newton-John back in 1996, and since then, more than 3.8 million people have planted 24 million trees and plants.

National Tree Day is all about community involvement, and whether you plant a tree at home, at work or in the great outdoors, you're invited to register an event or find one happening near you. For more info, visit National Tree Day or call the Hotline on 1300 88 5000.

What is Schools Tree Day?

Schools Tree Day focuses on the younger generation, and each year about 3,000 preschools, kindergartens, primary schools and high schools take part. This is a great chance for children to get their hands dirty planting native seedlings, trees, shrubs, edibles and flowers. Plus, there are nature-care activities, like bushwalks and enviro-themed lessons to inspire Earth's youngest custodians.

The Preschools Guide and Schools Activity Guide provide food for thought, and whether children plant a seedling or hug a tree, they'll thrive on these outdoor learning opportunities.

How else can children connect with nature?

Of course, whether it's July or January, every day is a great day to embrace nature. Children benefit from being outdoors, both in a physical and emotional sense, and there are lots of creative ways for them to engage with the environment.

Here are 10 activities for little nature lovers:

  1. Leaf and bark rubbings: Whether they collect different leaves or wrap a piece of paper round an old gum tree, crayon rubbings are a beautiful way to capture natural patterns.
  2. Leaf threading: For this activity, tie a twig ‘needle’ to some twine, then watch those little fingers go as they thread on lots of leaves. This is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and make an all-natural necklace for Mum!
  3. Nature stampers: Toddlers and preschoolers will have fun pressing natural shapes into play dough, and things like gum nuts, twigs and pine cones will leave quite an impression.
  4. Nature sensory bag: Another idea is to fill a sandwich bag with clear hair gel and found flowers to create a sensory bag/sun catcher. Toddlers will love scavenging for petals, then poking them once in the bag.
  5. Upcycled garden: Whether you make a flower bed from a milk carton or create a terrarium from a soda bottle, mini-gardens are a great way to grow your child’s interest in plants.
  6. Nature wands: First, wrap some masking tape around a stick (sticky side out), then it's over to your little fairy/elf to make some magic by pressing leaves and flowers onto their ‘wand.’ This activity combines nature play with pretend play, so it's truly spellbinding.
  7. Nature cutting tray: To give your preschooler some scissor practice, collect a bunch of petals, leaves and stalks, put them in a tray and let them snip, snip, snip!
  8. Painting with nature: Whether they use a pine cone stamptwig paintbrush or leaf printer, there are lots of green ways to put multi-coloured paint on paper.
  9. Garden sensory bin: To help your baby get a feel for nature, fill a plastic tub with touchy-feely things like grass, pine cones and rocks. And if it's a sunny day, add water for the full sensory experience.
  10. Scavenger hunt: Put together list of things your child has to find, then let them loose! Toddlers will love searching for twigs and butterflies, while older kids can hunt for seedpods and four-leaf clovers.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 09 July 2020

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