For 2 delightful mornings in September, some very excited children put on their adventure hats and explored Bishan-Ang Mio Park at our very first Nature Explorers programme! Nature Explorers was established with the intention of creating meaningful outdoor learning experiences for children aged 5 to 12. Not only do they get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, through our well-structured activities they learn to become resilient and confident individuals who understand and respect nature. Our caring and knowledgeable trainers were there to facilitate and guide the children, not every step of the way, but enough to allow freedom for fun, independent learning.
Our garden trail gave these explorers insight into the world of flora and fauna. They discovered how ecosystems thrive and were introduced to various plants in the park. They did leaf rubbings of the Grass Jelly plant, took a whiff of Lemongrass by rubbing its leaves between their fingers and they had to identify Henna and Firecracker plants. Looks like these kids are on the way to achieving a Botany Badge!
Next on the agenda was to make a twig boat from pipe cleaners and twigs! Our explorers used leaves as a sail for that extra nautical touch. It was a challenging task because while keeping the twigs in place, they had to twist and turn the pipe cleaners to get a strong knot. This activity was a great opportunity to train firm grips and agile fingers. Our explorers overcame the hurdles and did a spectacular job at creating unique twig boats. Here’s the treat – they get to float it at the pond! How often do you get to see a sight like this in our busy world?
Mandalas are known to cultivate a sense of creative quietude. Mandalas represent an interrelating universe and their circular shape is a symbol of never-ending life. Because of its inherent nature, this activity is done in silence. Its only audio accompaniments are the rustling of leaves caused by little, busy feet and a zen-inspired playlist to encourage tranquillity. Children built their Mandalas with saga seeds, shells, ferns, Monstera and Eucalyptus leaves and the outcome was beautiful. The large leaves were kindly gifted by a local florist, 85 Flowers. They were leftover greens from her wedding shows – opportunities to reuse, reduce and recycle are abundant when you look for them! Besides a Mandala, these imaginative explorers also created ‘side projects’ as time progressed. To allow their creative freedom to soar, our trainers became unobtrusive observers and let the magic happen.
Turtle Weaving/Nature Weaving
Anyone who has ever tried weaving will wax lyrical about its therapeutic benefits. Our explorers were immersed in a relaxing tactile experience as they learnt basic weaving techniques using yarn, twigs and craft sticks. Turtle Weaving was an enjoyable activity for our younger explorers as they created colourful turtles of yarn. Nature Weaving with twigs and yarn gave our older explorers the confident boost that they needed. They continued to weave their art, commenting about how comfortable they felt while doing it – another achievement unlocked!
Lunching with Eco-sentials
WEEAT provided us with a healthy buffet spread and our explorers were mindful to keep wastage to a minimum! They ate with their lunch boxes, reusable utensils and drank from their water bottles. We call these eco-sentials! Water was readily available throughout the programme and all they had to do was have refills.
Before We Leave
Our explorers didn’t go home empty-handed! They each received a certificate, a polaroid photograph, and a BusyKidz Bag filled with a fun, educational activity for all at home to enjoy together. Each bag contained all the necessary materials to make Earth Pops! There were paper packets filled with Broccoli and Kang Kong seeds, and paper packets of soil, compost and clay were kindly gifted by The Pot Dealers SG.
See You Again!
Nature Explorers was a blast, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park was brilliant and our explorers gained a learning experience like no other. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who had participated in Nature Explorers and made it a success! Look out for our next round of Nature Explorer’s this coming November/December holidays. Check out this post for more details!