As a Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Mum I blog on just about everything health, fitness and parent related – The Kids Menu. This weekend the kids and I had planned a trip to the local Botanical Gardens and I thought it was not only a great opportunity to get the children outdoors but also a perfect way showcase some beautiful Australian bush to you.
As we started to get organised to go we chatted about what we might see and find; leaves, sticks, feather, flowers, rocks, dirt, spiders, bugs, duck poo … (yep, it always ends in poo talk in our house).
The kids couldn’t wait to go.
One of the wondrous things about children is the adventure and excitement they find in the smallest things. So I decided to harness this excitement and plan a treasure hunt of things to find and collect while we were at the gardens.
Planning a treasure hunt was a great activity to encourage the kids to get outdoors and be active. It was also a perfect opportunity to learn, explore and discover together, plus it was fun and so simple. We just grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a list – Oh and grabbed a bag on the way out the door to carry all the things we collected.
While exploring the natural environment during our treasure hunt the kids were running, jumping, climbing, balancing and practising all the fundamental movement skills that promote their development and learning. Being in the natural environment also helps develop their senses of connectedness and belonging within the world and promotes a strong sense of identity.
The opportunities to learn during our treasure hunt were endless.
We practised our reading and writing as we developed our list and our counting as we collected each item. We collected things of different shape, size, texture and colour and spent lots of time talking about these sensory elements; what did it feel like? What did it smell like? Was it rough or smooth? What shape was it? Did they like the colour?
Once our treasure hunt was complete we headed home but that was not the end of our fun. My daughter had the great idea of using some of the treasures we collected for collage later in the day. We also discovered that we had found a few unripe pomegranates so we spent some more time learning about pomegranates, how they grow and why they are good for us. The kids are optimistic that they can get the seeds to grow so keep an eye on my blog for news on this front, but if nothing else it’ll keep them busy for a little while longer.
Thanks for having me by Eileen and I hope you all enjoyed our trip to the Botanical Gardens and are feeling inspired to get your kids outdoors for a treasure hunt.