Community bush playgroup in Ocean Grove

May 8, 2024 BY

Since the bush playgroup began at the start of the year over 30 families have attended. Photo: SUPPLIED.

WILDFLOWER Kids has gone bush, creating a community playgroup at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve with the idea of connecting families to nature.

Katrina Lumb set up the not-for-profit group at the start of the year after visiting the reserve herself and learning about the benefits nature has on kids.

The mother of two initially posted on Facebook to see if others in the area would be interested and since then has had over 30 families attend.

Ms Lumb said that with the bush playgroup she finds when people and kids are outdoors, they’re a lot more relaxed.

“Because the kids are able to run around and they’re not in a confined space, they can regulate their own emotions better,” she said.

“They tend to be able to move through any challenge they have, things like sharing resources, they don’t seem to have those problems because if what they want isn’t available, we go off for a walk, or climb a tree.”

As part of the activities the kids often go on bush walk, exploring and learning about the flora and fauna in the area. Photo: SUPPLIED

While at the playgroup kids learn through the activities such as treasure hunts, mini creature quests, muddy play, plant and animal ID stations and more,

Ms Lumb hopes that through the playgroups the kids will gain a deeper understanding of nature and the animals around them.

“If our kids can really appreciate it from a young age, they’re going to want to protect it as they get older.

The playgroup is free for families to attend and relies on donations to run, Ms Lumb has been busy applying for community grants to help better resource the group.

As part of the child led play, kids have access to magnifying glasses for the plant and animal ID station. Photo: SUPPLIED

“We’re really keen to get things like binoculars for the kids, at the moment it’s just really my stuff that they’re using,” she said.

“It would be nice to get some microscopes so we can study the vegetation and the flora, and those bigger cost things that I don’t have.

“We can build these communities of kids outdoors and the more we can do that the better it’s going to be for their wellbeing and their long-term education.”

The playgroup runs every Monday from 9.30am at the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve.