When your dad is a park ranger, it’s inevitable you’re going to grow up enjoying your fair share of environmental holiday activities. My squids are veterans of the Junior Ranger programs in national parks all over Australia.
And you can get your enviro-kid fix too in my neck of the woods this Easter. The Mornington Peninsula National Park, Point Nepean National Park, Coolart Wetlands and Historic Homestead and Collins First Settlement in Sorrento are hosting ‘I Spy’ holiday fun for kids this Easter. Parks Victoria’s FREE Junior Ranger program shares the hidden mysteries of our special places, as kids enjoy energetic experiences connecting them with the environment and history.
This popular holiday program is hosted by Parks Victoria rangers in the outdoors and is free to register. We’ve collected badges from them all – from rock pool walks, bird-watching and beachcombing, to art in the outdoors and historical super sleuthing. Junior Rangers is an interactive and inspiring program that really engages kids aged between 6 – 12 years old to connect with our precious Mornington Peninsula environments. And the rangers who host them are the native bees knees (but we may be a tad biased!)
The Junior Ranger program will run Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s at various park locations on the Southern Peninsula from 29th March until 8th April, 2016.
Many kids end up discovering life-long passions for the environment and history. My own ranger fella was a regular at the national park holiday programs as a kid himself.
We’ve collected our fair share of Junior Ranger badges from these great parks thrpuoghout school holidays. At Point Nepean’s Quarantine Station the ‘I Spy a Quarantine Station’ will lead kids though a history buff challenge, helping them connect the dots with moments in time. Point Nepean’s ‘Art in the Park’ program inspires kids to create art from found objects, and leave nature to reclaim its treasures.
The ‘ABC of Point Nepean’ will look at history, flora and fauna and stories of Point Nepean, and ‘Walk, Talk and War’ at Gunners Cottage stretches legs and kids minds as they connect with indigenous and introduced flora of the park.
The remarkable underworld creatures of our coastal rock pools will have every kid impressed at Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary in Flinders with the ‘Rock Pool Rambles’ program. The little known history of the Collins Settlement will bring history alive for kids with the ‘Connecting the Clues’ program, and budding bird-watchers, they’ll learn bird identification skills in the coastal and wetland environment through ‘Finding Feathered Friends’ at the Coolart Wetlands.
And to celebrate Nature Play Week, kids of all ages are invited to join rangers at Pt Nepean National Park on Friday 8th April 2016 at 10:30am, for a special nature and history treasure hunt as they discover colours, patterns and textures in our local environment. Rangers will be on hand to help kids find the treasures using an activity worksheet.
All activities are free, but bookings are essential and open from 22nd March, 2016 at www.juniorrangers.com.au. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and even those jaded adults will have a fine old time too.