Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Stage 3 lockdown: guidance and support.

During these extraordinary times, the ways in which we would normally connect with nature have changed. Boroondara Wild has changed too! In response to this time of social distancing we have created Boroondara Wild - Backyard Edition. We’ve adapted our program to allow you to connect to the natural world around you from your own backyard. 

Discover a range of fun and educational activities you can try right in your own backyard. 

The first 10 families to complete the activities and send photos of their work to [email protected] by 5pm on Monday 20 July will receive a very special Nature and Nurture Box, valued at $55! Terms and conditions apply.

How to enter

Entrants are required to send an email to [email protected]. The email must include:

  • Photographs of completed 'Fun backyard activities'.
  • The name of the child.
  • The name of the parent/guardian of the child.
  • A statement to the effect the parent/guardian consents to the child entering the competition.
  • Postal address of parent/guardian.

Only entries including valid contact details and photographs will be considered for the prize.

Entrants must be between the ages of 3 to 12 years old.  As entrants are below the age of 18, they must have parental or guardian consent to enter the competition. If entrants do not provide valid parental/guardian consent their entry will be deemed invalid.

Fun backyard activities

Here are some activities you can do in your own backyard or using the things you find there.

Before you start, download and print the colouring-in pages. 

Cloud watching

Spend some time outside in the fresh air, look up at the sky and let your imagination run free. 

Do you recognise any shapes in the clouds? Do some look like dogs or people? 

Write a list of the shapes you see or draw them.

Use the colouring-in page you printed to colour in the different shaped clouds you see outside. What colour are they today? 

Make an autumn crown

Making leaf crowns with beautiful autumn leaves is a fun and easy activity to do outside. Take a wander around your backyard or stroll through your local streets to collect lots of colourful leaves, then get crafting!

Kids will have a great time making these crowns, then pretending they are the kings and queens of their backyards.

What you’ll need

  • A sheet of colourful craft cardboard (though if you don’t have any, paper should be okay)
  • Sticky tape + glue
  • Scissors
  • Pretty autumn leaves

How to make the crowns

  1. Gather all of your colourful leaves.
  2. Cut along the long edge of cardboard, then place around your child’s head to measure the correct size. It should sit just above their ears. Tape the outside, and inside, to hold the crown together.
  3. Then get sticking! Use either glue or tape to stick leaves to the cardboard, and then set aside to dry once done.

Do a leaf rubbing drawing

Did you know that you can use an autumn leaf to make artwork without sticking the leaf on the page? You use the leaf and a crayon to draw the leaf shape and texture through rubbing!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Real leaves
  • Paper (preferably thin or lightweight)
  • Crayons or oil pastels

Instructions

  1. Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes. You can use fresh leaves or dried fallen ones.
  2. Place a leaf with its bottom side facing up.
  3. Put a sheet of paper, preferably thin or lightweight, over the leaf.
  4. Rub the side of a crayon or an oil pastel gently on the area over the leaf. As you do this, you'll see the coloured areas start to take the shape of the leaf.
  5. Continue until you've rubbed over the entire leaf.
  6. Remove the leaf from under the paper. This completes the basic steps for making a leaf rubbing.
  7. Make more leaf rubbings using other colours and different leaf shapes.
  8. Overlap the leaf rubbings to create a stunning picture!

Scavenger hunt

There are so many small details in nature. You may not have noticed all the things around you.

Spend some time in your backyard looking for:

  • a feather
  • a leaf
  • a stone
  • something rough
  • something red
  • a flower
  • a gumnut

Can you see…?

  • a bug
  • a bird
  • a butterfly
  • a rainbow
  • a cloud

Use this colouring-in page you printed to show what you found today.

Bird watching from your window or yard

If you sit quietly, you may be surprised how many feathered friends you can see. If you have a backyard you could sit outside, but you can also just sit by a window.

Grab some paper and a pen and write down how many birds you see and what they look like. 

  • Are they black and white? 
  • Are they grey? 
  • Are they small or are they large?

You could even get creative and draw the birds you see!

Use the Australian Museum website to help you identify the species of birds visiting your area. 

Build a bird bath

Birds need water to drink and wash their feathers in. Having a bird bath in your backyard is a kind way you can help our local birds find water. Did you know you can make your own bird bath? Have a go! 

A bird bath could be:

  • A shallow, plastic container that you no longer need, lid removed and filled with water.
  • An old bowl resting on the top of an empty plant pot.

For more information about providing water for our local birds, have a look at Feeding and Water Guides from BirdLife Australia.  

Get your Backyard Explorer certificate

Once you have tried all the activities you can download your Backyard Explorer certificate.

About Boroondara Wild

Boroondara Wild is a celebration of the wonderful ways children and their families explore nature in our community. Kids have told us they love the colours, sounds and textures of nature, and the way they feel when they spend time outdoors. We have adapted Boroondara Wild for the current COVID-19 crisis so children can explore nature in their own backyards. We’re calling this program Boroondara Wild - Backyard Edition. 

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