Active in Parks: Bush Playgroups Program

For many parents, finding the motivation to get out of the house some days is a chore, let alone planning stimulating things to nurture children’s energy, interests and boisterousness. Knowing where to start, how to connect with others and how to take care of yourself physically as well as mentally often takes a back seat to the needs of a baby or toddler.

Working in partnership with Glastonbury Community Services, Bush Playgroup enables young mothers and their children to get together in a natural environment, enjoying activities overseen by early childhood professionals.

During Bush Playgroup sessions parents and their children enjoy general parenting advice from an early childhood services professional, as well as the therapeutic benefits of fresh air, exercise and beautiful settings. Playing in the outdoors the children’s gross motor skills are nurtured, they learn natural play activities for their families to replicate at home, and enjoy meaningful connections with other families in the community.

Children have a natural curiosity, and willingness to interact with their environment….in fact we adults can learn a lot from them! These unique play groups have meant that children are encouraged to interact within the environment rather than look for swings and climbing frames to satisfy their needs; to discover simple pleasures in planting bush tucker and to feel greater confidence as they explore their natural world. In an era when the latest toys and gadgets seem to be dominating playrooms, nurseries and backyards, for parents, it’s wonderful to get back to basics with their children.

Over the past year in Victoria, People and Parks Foundation have facilitated Bush Playgroups in the Otways and the Colac Botanical Gardens. We are looking forward to offering other families the chance to experience natural venues across Victoria for their own Bush Playgroup.

“It’s amazing how the kids love the really simple things like picking up leaves and twigs,”

– a happy parenting participant.