What to expect at a Nature Play WA event
Nature Play WA events are unlike any other. There are no timed activities where you're given a "five minute go" before you have to leave the activity. There are not always obvious beginnings and ends to activities, more an opportunity to take part in as much or as little as you like. Our Nature Play WA staff will be on hand to support you and to answer any questions you may have, but we don't have instruction sheets or how-to cards on the "right" way to do things. A Nature Play WA event is an opportunity for you to explore new experiences with your family, in a way and at a pace you are comfortable. If you're new to our events, or if it's been a while since you've last been to one, we've put together a list of FAQs to help!
Be sure to download our Nature Play WA app for full event details.
Guidelines for Attendees
Health and Safety Information
Where is Mudder's Day held?
Mudder’s Day is held at Manning Park, Azelia Road, Spearwood, and the Nature Play WA marquee will be right near the carpark opposite Manning Stairs. This event is expected to attract over 3,000 people throughout the event period. We ask that you please consider this when driving and parking within Manning Park.
What activities are there to take part in?
Accessorised with utensils and cookware, visit the Nature Play WA mud kitchens where you can get muddy and create your own messy masterpieces. Cooking and creating is a daily task that kids want to mimic. Using their imaginations, they want to prepare and pretend. Here, kids can use dirt and natural found objects to cook up a storm and make something delicious for their family and friends!
When you think of mud mask, you think of luxury, comfort and relaxation. Here at Mudder’s Day, we do things a little differently. Although the mud masks station isn’t a high-end day spa, you will still receive benefits of mud as it cleanses, exfoliates and detoxes your skin. Here, children will be able to make their own mud using dirt and water provided, while you sit back and relax on the chairs and cushions provided. It’s up to you on whether or not you want to experience the full spa treatment, or simply enjoy the look and feel of natural mud with your child.
When we see mud puddles, we jump in and splash! Here, children are encouraged to use their natural instincts to explore, play, imagine and get messy! Muddy puddles aren’t just for the kids to play in – jump in too, and talk to your child about what they’re doing and experiencing. Most importantly, have fun and experience what childhood is all about – making messy memories.
Mud play is a fun learning experience for children, and is a great creative outlet for your little ones to enjoy. Mud Sculpting introduces a variety of different textures and natural materials including pebbles, leaves and grass for children to explore, learn and create something for their loved ones on Mother’s Day.
Mud play isn’t just about learning and experiencing something new. It’s also about having fun and running amok. Join Nature Play WA for our very first mud-stacle course. Run, jump, balance and crawl as we make our way through the mud-stacle course to reach the final activity – the mud slide!
Using natural found objects to create huts, cubbies or dens speak to our inner adventurer, the survival instinct of creating shelter as one of our basic needs is sparked by the creation of these special places. Team work, invention, creation and cooperation are all key elements to the process of creating huts together and through the process of building, children use their imagination to create stories and small villages. Often these villages become communities, trade occurs and even battles ensue sparking need for tools and weapons.
A key element is the ever-evolving nature of huts, they change, get destroyed, are rebuilt and modified and resilience is built as a process of letting go, listening to other people’s ideas and being comfortable with change. At the cubby building station, materials have been provided for you and your children to create your very own masterpiece. Please help yourself to these, but remember that these resources are to be shared amongst all attendees. Why not work together with another family to build your own cubby community?
Mudders Day Muddy Digital Treasure Hunt
Follow and solve the clues as you make your way through the event space to uncover the Muddy Treasure at each point. Download our Nature Play WA app and follow the links from the Events button to launch our digital treasure hunt.
How long will the activities take to do?
This is a difficult question to answer. Some families will enjoy a long time at each activity, and others will delight in a quicker experience. For example, some children will want to do the Mudstacle Course over and over, while others will be happy to do one run through. And not everyone will want to take part in every activity. We liken Nature Play WA events to a visit to the beach. Some families like a quick visit, just dipping their toes in the water, before they go home, where others will stay for the whole day, with full picnic baskets, buckets and spades, and a whole range of water play gear. You won’t need to bring lots of gear to enjoy a Nature Play WA event, but we welcome you to stay for as long as you like. See our List of Activities to help you decide how long you’ll want to stay with us.
What age range are the activities suitable for?
Nature Play WA events are designed for babies through to teenagers (and big kids too!) Some activities (like the Muddy Treasure Hunt) are ideal for older children who can take part in activities that require following directions, but jumping and splashing in muddy puddles can be enjoyed by all ages!
What should we bring?
* Wear your old clothes and shoes (so it doesn’t matter if you get them dirty – because you will!) and wet weather gear – gumboots are great! This means parents too! Even if aren’t going to get right into the mud fun, you’ll be sure to get your fair sure of mud from your little nature players.
*Goggles or protective eyewear (if you suspect your mini nature players are likely to get mud in their eyes!)
* Towels/blankets - once you're all cleaned up, you'll need plenty of towels to dry off, and blankets to warm up.
* Change of clothes (or more than one change for very active children).
* Warm clothes – and lots of them. Jackets, jumpers, warm socks and shoes, long sleeve tops, tracksuit pants and warm hats. Even though the weather will be a sunny 24C, wet muddy fun and the cool water from the clean up stations may mean you need to dress warmer than usual.
* Food – although we’ll have coffee and icecream vans on-site, if you’re looking for something more filling we recommend packing a picnic, including something warm to drink - a thermos of hot tomato or pumpkin soup, or delicious hot chocolate or Milo will go down a treat with little ones needing a warm up after their muddy adventures.
* Canvas/shopping bags to stow wet and muddy clothes in.
*Zip lock bags to protect your phone. We all love to take souvineer snaps, but the best way to ensure your phone remains mud free is with a simple zip lock sandwich bag!
Will there be food for sale?
There will be a coffee van and icecream van on-site, but if you’re looking for something more filling we advise packing snacks or meals to enjoy when you are with us.
Will there be clean up stations?
There will be two “kid wash” clean up stations (spray arches to wash off under) and portable toilet facilities to use. We ask that you use these rather than the main toilet facilities at Manning Park for clean up, to allow regular park visitors (and non-mud participants) to have mud-free facilities to use.
Will there be bathroom facilities?
Nature Play WA has arranged for portable toilets to be available for event attendees, We ask that you use these rather than the main toilet facilities at Manning Park for clean up, to allow regular park visitors (and non-mud participants) to have mud-free facilities to use.
Will there be First Aid services?
St John’s Ambulance will be on hand should the need for their services arise, and there will be a first aid kit at the Nature Play WA marquee for small cuts and grazes.
Plan your day
Nature Play WA events are run outdoors, and provide opportunities that children and families may not have experienced before, and this is very true for Mudder's Day. Mud play can be fun and exciting, but if this is a first time experience with mud play, some children may find it challenging. Some kids love the wet, muddy fun, getting themselves covered in mud, while others just want to "dip their toes" in the experience. You know your child's personality and likes and dislikes better than anyone, so you'll be the best judge of how much or how little they'll want to do. See our list of "things to bring" to be well prepared for any eventuality!
Also as the event runs from 10am-3pm, if your child is uncomfortable with large crowds, maybe delay your arrival until later in the day. The beginning of our events are quite busy, but with activities running all day, with no set start and stop times, arriving later in the day won’t result in your missing out on anything.
Be prepared for your plans to change
As our events are very popular, we often have periods where some activity areas are busier than others, and there may be a waiting period before you can access them. If you are ready and raring to hit the mudstacle as soon as you arrive, but see that there are a lot of people already taking part, maybe choose a different activity to begin with and return when things quieten down.
Share resources with and be mindful of others
As with any large community event, there will be times when activities or resources are in high demand, so we ask that if you be mindful of other attendees when using resources (such as cubby building materials) and encourage other families to join in with you to share.
Be ready for new challenges
Nature Play WA events offer new challenges and experiences that many children have not taken part in before, and children may not respond in the way we expect them to. Getting wet, dirty (and possibly cold) may not be a sensation children are used to, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some children need encouragement to continue to play in an environment they are new to, and others need a cuddle and time away to regroup before they try again.
Health and Safety Information
Parents/guardians are reminded that due to the nature of this event, children are the full responsibility of their parent or guardian on the day.
If you, or a child in your care require medical attention, please visit staff at the St John marquee located near the Nature Play WA marquee.
If a child is lost, please report details to the closest staff member, or report directly to the Nature Play WA marquee. Likewise, if a child approaches you explaining they are lost, please report to the Nature Play WA marquee.
Please monitor your own safety near roads and pedestrian paths. Manning Park will be open to the public on the day of the event, potentially resulting in a high level of traffic throughout the Park.
Note: Weather and fire danger levels on the day of the event will be monitored by Nature Play WA. The event will be cancelled if conditions are deemed unsafe.
Leave No Trace
Our events are a great way to have meaningful conversations with your children around Leave No Trace, building awareness, appreciation and respect for our natural and cultural heritage, encouraging them to be responsible for their area of play, disposing of waste, using only the resources they need and ensuring that the natural environment is not harmed during play.
Please help us by having these conversations with your children before and during the day. Encouraging children to help packing away resources at their end of their session is also a great way to help promote this awareness.
Filming and photography consent
We would love to get some great photos of participants at this Nature Play WA event, and we would appreciate your permission to share these photos through our Nature Play WA networks (including social media, website, and funding requests),
If you do not give permission, you may be issued with a coloured wrist band (from the Nature Play WA marquee) ensuring we do not take, or share, photos without permission.
Permission is for Nature play WA and/or the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to use any photographic image or any video footage taken during the event, in printed publications, on the internet or in other electronic formats for press or print purposes.
If a photograph of you or your child/children is taken and you wish to receive a copy, please speak to the photographer who will record your details to send you a copy of the photograph via email.
Please understand that if you do not give photo consent for yourself or your child/children, you must inform the Nature Play WA team at the event base.
We can't wait for you to join us for a day of wet and muddy fun!