Welcome to Busy Kids, week 1!
To kick off the Busy Kids series of inspirational weekly guides, we’re tieing the theme into our country’s most celebrated day- Australia Day.
Use the below activities to imbue your children with country pride and to teach them about all the offerings of our great country.
When you head out with your children this week focus on exploring Australia’s natural beauty, animals and very basic history.
- Take a trip to any of the beautiful beaches within the Sutherland Shire. Shelly Beach and Darook Park (both in Cronulla) are excellent spots for swimming, playing and observing sea snails, starfish and even crabs.
- Head to Kurnell beach and make a point of checking out Captain Cook’s landing site while you’re there.
- Go for a walk through Sir Joseph Banks Reserve at Kareela and pay particular attention to the information about native plants.
- Take a mini bushwalk in the Royal National Park or even behind Old School Park Gymea.
- If you’re feeling like venturing a bit further afield, Symbio, Taronga Zoo and the new Australia Zoo are top places to check out Australian wildlife.
On any of your bushwalks or nature walks, bring a basket or bucket and encourage your kid/s to use their eyes and collect things that have already fallen to the ground, point out the differences in size, shape, colour, texture and smell of a variety of plants.
Australia Day events
- Join the thousands of other passionate Aussies celebrating Australia day at the Council-hosted events in Cronulla and Menai.
- Get the kids to try their hand at Aboriginal Dot Painting. You can even paint rocks or shells you found when exploring.
- Use cupcake cases to craft an inexpensive Cupcake Case Cockatoo
- Make your own Australia day flags out of felt, play dough, scrap materials or make it an Australia Day Flag puzzle.
- Use some of the sticks you picked up on your bushwalk to create this Stick Echidna
- Fill the kids with Aussie-fare and get them involved in helping you whip up these easy Healthy Sausage Rolls or Green and Gold Salad Wraps for Australia Day (or any day) lunch.
- Follow it up with some cute Lamington Men and no-bake Honey Joys or simply pull out some plain packet biscuits and let them decorate their own Koala Biscuits.
- Turn a nature walk into a Scavenger Hunt by writing out a simple list of Australian plants, animals, sights and sounds to keep an eye out for. You can even print out an Aussie Scavenger Hunt.
- Grab your gumboots or thongs and see who can hurl them the furthest in a Thong Throwing Contest.
- Use this printable to make your own Aussie Animal Dice and get the kids on their feet.
- Play traditional Aboriginal games like Brajerjack, which is like ‘Hide and Seek’ except only one person hides and everyone else is seeking.
- Sit down with your kids and help them complete this Australian Trivia Quiz.
If you look through your bookshelf you’ll likely find you already have books that fit with this theme. If not, your local library is an invaluable resource for finding great Aussie kids books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Here are just a few popular reads about our country, Australian animals and Aboriginal culture.
- Possum Magic by Mem Fox
- Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
- The Magic Beach by Allison Lester
- Fair Dinkum Aussie Slang by H.G Nelson
- My Culture and Me by Gregg Dreise
- Hello Australia by Megan McKean
You can find these playlists on Spotify by searching for Mums of the Shire. They’re loaded in our library ready and waiting to delight little ears.
ABC iView is the obvious source for Aussie kids TV shows but movies are a bit trickier to find. We’ve listed a few suggestions
- Bluey (ABC)
- Australia Day Live (ABC)
- The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill (Netflix)
- The Blinky Bill Movie (Youtube or Google Play)
- Babe (Youtube or Google Play)
- Wiggle Around Australia (Stan)
When you’re watching with the kids, point out any recognisable Aussie towns/cities/icons and name as many Australian animals as you can. When the movie has finished, see how many places and animals they can name.
Thanks for following along with us. We’d love to see what you and your #busykids get up to this week so tag @MumsoftheShire in your Instagram photos and stories!
Be sure to look out for our week 2 guide- Fun with Feelings!