We’re gearing up for an amazing month of play, and we’d love you to share your adventures with us! “Join” our Facebook Events for PLAY IN MAY, take part in our weekly challenges, share your photos and videos with us, and celebrate the joy of play! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!
Week 1 – Gardening with the Kids!
You don’t need to take on a backyard makeover to have some gardening fun. In fact, you don’t even need a backyard! Some of the most fun you can have gardening with kids takes only a tiny amount of space. If you have a balcony or even a windowsill, why not experiment with microgreens?
Microgreens are edible immature greens, harvested with scissors less than a month after germination. They grow quickly, so even the most impatient of mini gardeners will soon see the results of their labour. Salad greens, leafy vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers can be grown as microgreens, you can find them at many nurseries (we got ours at Bunnings).
If you have more space, why not look at planting seasonal vegetables (artichoke, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, endive, fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, peas, silverbeet, spinach, spring onions and turnips) or flowering plants (pansy, snapdragon, cornflower, sweet pea and viola).
You could even make a “living tepee”! Construct a pyramid or “A” frame from wooden or bamboo long garden stakes, and plant quick-growing climbing plants around the base (or positioned around the frame in large pots). You could plant runner beans or peas, or flowering plants like nasturtiums or sweet peas. Once the plants have taken off, you’ll have a wonderful hiding place/den to play in, complete with a wonderful natural foliage covering.
Learn more about Gardens for Kids
Week 2 – On Your Bike! Neighbourhood Treasure Hunt
It’s wonderful weather for getting out on the deadly treadly, and for a family adventure! Why not create a Neighbourhood Treasure Hunt to take part in on a family bike ride? Download a Google Map of your neighbourhood (or have your nature players draw their own!) mark your favourite spots you want to visit and list “treasures” you hope to find. You might even break out the cold tea and matches to create that authentic aged treasure map. Stain and age your map by painting it with cold black tea and leave it to dry. Then burn the edges of the map with a candle or matches (probably a job for a grownup nature player) and you’re all set!
Use your camera (or phone) to capture pictures of your treasures, so you can be sure to “leave no trace”.
A couple of safety tips:
- Always wear your helmet when riding your bike
- Keep an eye on traffic
- Make sure you don’t try and read your map while you’re riding your bike!
Week 3 – Backyard (or Indoor) Obstacle Course!
Rev up the backyard (or the living room if your yard is small) by creating an obstacle course! Take advantage of anything you may already have in the backyard, like a cubby house, swing set, monkey bars or basketball/netball hoops, and bring other elements into play, like outdoor chairs and tables, sporting gear (think boogie boards, skipping ropes, cricket sets and a variety of balls, racquets and other accessories) and even things stashed in the garage like outdoor brooms on tins of paint as hurdles, old pot plants to dodge around and the garden hose to balance along.
Design your obstacle course with a start and end point (you may decide to incorporate multiple laps of the course!) lay out your obstacles to create the right level of difficulty for your nature players, create your own medals or trophies for the winners (the recycling should have some excellent cardboard to use) and get ready for some fun! Have your obstacle course runners dress up in their very best “professional athlete” gear, make sure the event marshall is ready with the stopwatch, get a cheer squad involved, and make a big event of it!
If the idea of an obstacle course inside the house is too much to consider, maybe create a smaller version for a favourite teddy to take part in? Use Lego, building blocks, books, cushions and even tins of food from the pantry to set up your course, then create a spectator section of toys to cheer your teddy on!
Week 4 – Invent your own Game!
Has your family invented your very own game? Maybe you play a version of Guess Who where you only describe the players by what foods you think they like? Or perhaps (like our Communications Manager) you designed a childhood game where you and your sister substituted the letter “M” at the beginning of every word when you spoke? (Mit meally mrove mour Mother mrazy!) Or maybe you like to run down the stairs followed closely by a wild yoga ball, like The Raiders game invented by the Heelers on our favourite kids show, Bluey?
We’d love to hear about your wild and wonderful games you’ve created! Don’t have a family game? Then we challenge you to spend the week coming up with your very own game, create a Rules Sheet (just like the real thing!) and share pictures or videos of your game with us, through our Invent Your Own Game Facebook Event.
Download your Play in May Resource, and join us for a month of fun!
Be sure to "Join" our Facebook Events, and share your photos and videos to our social media using the hashtags #natureplaywa and #playinmay
We can't wait to see what you have in store for us!