You can celebrate the National Day of Real Play anywhere! Get outside and have fun making up your own adventures, whether it is in the park at the end of your road or one Australia’s magnificent National Parks.
To help you get started though Nature Play and OMO have come up with our Top 10 ways to celebrate the National Day of Real Play, along with some great places in Victoria you can go to try them!
1. Climb a tree
Climbing trees is something every kid should do! To be safe remember to always have three points of contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and one hand) and not to climb on a branch that is thinner than your thigh.
Types of trees that make for great climbing include: Morton Bay figs, mulberry, and gum trees – look for strong, sturdy branches with good spacing between (and a sandy or grassy base for softer landings!)
2. Build a cubby at home or at your local park
Every kid needs a base of their own! Find a spot in the backyard to make a cubby just for you, or go to your local park and see if you can recruit other kids to help you make something you can share.
You can use just about any materials you can get hold of. Try cardboard boxes, bits of wood, sticks or sheets from the laundry. If you are making a cubby in nature remember to leave only your footprints and take home only memories!
3. Make a mud pie at Truganina Swamp
Mud is good! There’s nothing better than squishy, dirty, gloppy mud to bring out your inner super chef.
Truganina Swamp (or Truganina Coastal Parklands) Altona is a great spot for creating your mud pie delicacies! Teeming with birdlife you’ll have plenty of water birds happy to sample from your mud pie bakery. Yummy!
4. Go camping in your backyard
Camping out under the stars is amazing and you don’t need to go bush to do it. Why not pitch your tent in the yard. If you don’t have a tent you can string up a tarp with rope and snuggle up with your doona and pillow.
Why not invite your friends around and camp together?
5. Go on a family bike ride at Phillip Island
Having a bike is like having a licence for freedom! You can explore, meander, or just go on a ride to nowhere. Why not get the family together and explore the Penguin Parade to Nobbies cycling track at Phillip Island? With Penguins at one end, seals at the other, and spectacular coastal views along the way – what a great way to get active in some real play!
6. Make a kite and fly it at Rosebud Foreshore
Kites are popular for kids all over the world. And best of all making them is super easy. A quick internet search will show you dozens of designs you can make with things you probably already have in the house.
Once you’ve made your kite try taking it to beautiful Rosebud Foreshore for a test flight. Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsular plays host to the annual Rosebud Kite Festival, where local and international kite flyers show off their skill, so you know it has perfect breezes for kite flying!
7. Invent an outdoor game with friends
The best thing about inventing your own game is that you get to make up the rules! Why not get some friends together and start inventing. You can do it in your backyard, in your neighbourhood or even organise to visit one of Victoria’s amazing National Parks.
8. Build a city in the sand at St Kilda Beach
Amazing views with enclosed swimming areas, St Kilda Beach is of the most popular of the Port Phillip Bay beaches. With its wide, sandy beach you’ll be all set to create your sand castle city! Or join with other kids and make a Sand Castle Metropolis!
9. Go on a photo safari in your neighbourhood
All you need for this activity is a camera (maybe mum or dad’s phone), and a sharp pair of eyes. Now, head out into your neighbourhood and see how many animals you can spot and photograph. Look for birds, insects, reptiles and pets.
You can even print your pictures and make a scrapbook of your safari to share with friends.
10. Make a stick boat and float it down a creek at the Children’s Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens
The Children’s Garden is a gorgeous environment where kids of all ages can play, explore and discover the natural world. It features plants, water, structures and pathways that reflect Melbourne’s changing seasons, and with a wonderful wetlands area, you’ll be ship shape!