Twelve Days of Nature Play

The hectic Christmas season is over, but summer holidays have just begun. And so too begins Nature Play WA’s inaugural 12 days of Nature Play. For the next twelve days we’ll be setting daily challenges designed to take you outside the house (and perhaps outside your comfort zone) in pursuit of nature play fun.

Use the following list as you wish! You can play along daily with your family, or select a few of your favourite suggestions to try out. Print off a handy PDF here to stick on the fridge and check off the activities as you complete them!


Take a photo of your family completing one of the Twelve Days of Nature Play challenges and share them on Nature Play WA's Facebook and Instagram pages with hashtags #twelvedaysofnatureplay #natureplaywa and you’ll enter the running to win a Nature Play WA Family Prize Pack!

The prize pack consists of:

  • Your very own Friends of Nature Play Membership
  • Nature Play WA Wilderness Backpack
  • Bamboo Travel Mug
  • Free Range Kid Tee and
  • Nature Play WA Bucket Hat!

Every photo goes into the draw! Please read the full Terms & Conditions here before entering.*

*Update: Winner announced Jan. 17 - click to see the winner and a gallery of all entries! 

On the first day of Nature Play … we’re going walking!
One foot in front of the other - today’s nature play is something you probably do every day! Going for a walk in nature is an excellent way to learn about your surroundings. If you can’t make it to the bush for a hike, why not see how long it takes you to walk to the park? Keep your eyes open! Count how many birds and other animals you see.

On the second day of Nature Play … we’re recycling!
What happens to the vegetable scraps in your kitchen? What about old newspapers? Spend today learning about recycling. Maybe you can introduce a new recycling initiative into your household, or organise a clothes swap or toy swap with friends. Is there loads of wrapping paper left over from Christmas? How can you recycle and use it for a new project?

On the third day of Nature Play … we’re camping!
Ask your parents if you can go camping today. Maybe they’ll agree to take you on a camping trip somewhere special! Or maybe you can set up the tent (or build your own cubby) in the garden for some backyard camping. Will you spend the night under the stars?

On the fourth day of Nature Play … we’re swimming!
It’s too hot! Spend today in the water. Do you live near a beach? Near the river? Near a lake? Put on your bathers and go for a splash! If there are no pools or swimming spots close by, it’s time to get creative. Fill up a plastic shell or paddle pool with water and take a bath outside, or have fun running through the sprinklers (make sure you put the sprinkler on a part of the garden that needs a drink!)

On the fifth day of Nature Play … we’re gathering!
Write down a list of your favourite natural objects – a feather, a shell, a piece of grass, a yellow flower. Make your list challenging. Then go outside with your friends and see who can collect the whole list the fastest!

On the sixth day of Nature Play … we’re creating!
Roll your sleeves up, today you’re getting creative! Here are some suggestions: make and fly your own kite, make a flower press, collect natural objects and make your own jewellery, make a moss terrarium! Do anything that gets your hands dirty in nature and your imagination flowing.

On the seventh day of Nature Play … we’re balancing and climbing!
How’s your balance? Find a log or a beam and balance your way across it. Too easy? Find a tree to climb spend the day exploring up amongst the branches. Always remember to have three points of contact with the tree (either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand).

On the eighth day of Nature Play … we’re getting messy!
Today’s objective? Get as messy as possible! Make mud pies, put on a pair of goggles and have a mud pie food fight! Go digging for worms! Play with clay! Make a mud volcano! Just remember to put on some old clothes before you start.

On the ninth day of Nature Play … we’re going cycling!
Let’s ride! Take your bike out into the sunshine today. I wonder where it will take you? Go with Mum and Dad to a nearby trail or park! Meet your friends to go on an adventure! Ride every street of your neighbourhood! Doesn’t the wind feel great as you whoosh along?

On the tenth day of Nature Play … we’re gardening!
Ask for permission to use a corner of your parents’ garden, then get to work planning what you want to grow. Maybe your existing garden is in need of some loving attention? You can nurture it by helping with the watering or pulling weeds. Whatever you do – make sure you dedicate some time today to gardening.

On the eleventh day of Nature Play … we’re capturing!
Do you have a camera? Can you borrow one? Great! You’ll need it today to go on a photo safari. Go outside and observe the natural scenery around you. Take photos of anything interesting you see – insects, pretty leaves, birds… how many different natural textures and colours can you capture? If you can't find a camera, record your observations by drawing or writing instead.

On the twelfth day of Nature Play … we’re playing!
Today, we play! Make up a game that lasts a whole day! Visit a fun playground! Roll down a big hill! Build a tree swing! Your imagination is the limit, and you deserve a good day’s play. Have fun!

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