Looking for a free, fun, and simple activity with your kids? If you live in the area, join a bush kindy class at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre in McDowall from March to April 2021.
Bushy kindy class is suitable for kids ages 0-5 years. It allows children to connect directly with nature through nature-based sensory play and activities. During a bush kindy session, your little ones will not only take part in outdoor experiences or nature play because they will also be doing art ‘n’ craft, bushwalks, and story-time.
The Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is a lovely hidden gem located at the Raven Street Reserve, part of the Chermside Hills Reserves. It features nice and well-maintained playgrounds, covered picnic areas, bike tracks, a half-court basketball court, and an informative bush-walk for all ages.
Why enrol in a bush kindy class? The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said preschool programs can help children acquire school readiness by developing learning-related skills, such as the ability to:
- express thoughts
- adapt appropriate behaviours
- control impulsivity
- remain concentrated
- show curiosity, persistence and develop social competence
Brisbane City Council launched the bush kindy program in 2019, to teach young children about the environment that match their tender years. It all started when they discovered there was a gap in programs catering to this age group.
In 2021, Council will also introduce the Creek Neighbours program, which is intended for slightly older kids, currently being delivered to Grade 4 and 5 students across Brisbane. This program helps create an awareness of the importance of bushland reserves, the schoolyard and the student’s own back yard.
According to Brisbane City Council’s Creek Neighbours and Bush Kindy co-ordinator Jo Fryer, the demand for these programs is high. In fact, in 2020, around 4,000 toddlers joined the weekly bush kindly class, whilst over 700 kids participated in the Creek Neighbours trial.
At present, Brisbane has three nature centres running bush kindy programs: the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre at McDowall, the Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre near Stretton, and Boondall Wetlands.
Those who would love to join are encouraged to bring a wide-brimmed hat, secure, fully enclosed walking shoes, sun-smart clothing, sunscreen and insect repellent. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
For bookings and dates of bush kindy class at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, visit brisbane.qld.gov.au.