Bush Kindy in Brisbane

bush kindy brisbane, forest kindy

Bush Kindy in Brisbane

Children and their carers across Brisbane are gathering at Brisbane City Council’s environment centres for Bush Kindy. Outside among the trees, they can look forward to sensory-based nature play, art and craft, bushwalks, storytime, and much more! 

Bush Kindy is a free activity held weekly during term times, with locations on the North and South sides of Brisbane.

Benefits of Attending Bush Kindy

The benefits of attending Bush Kindy sessions are plentiful and include the chance to be outdoors and get fresh air, learning about nature and the environment in a fun and engaging way and of course it is a way for adults and children to socialise and make new friends. friends. 

Rather than just attending Bush Kindy, make a day of it, by packing snacks or lunch and having a picnic before or afterwards. The kids will love eating outdoors without the usual table manners, and the adults will enjoy not having to clean up the crumbs. 

Children who spend time in nature are proven to be able to concentrate better. And it should come as no surprise that by spending time in the fresh air, children find that their physical health improves. By using their little muscle to lift logs, collect daisy’s and skip over stones – they’re building gross motor skills they’ll need in everyday life.

Find out more about bush kindy and it’s benefits on the ABC here.

Activities on Offer at Bush Kindy

Bush Kindy sessions include a range of fun and engaging activities.  Regular activities include the popular story and rhyme time which is run in partnership with Brisbane City Council Libraries and the First 5 Forever initiative.  Nature-based sensory activities, art and craft, nature play and lots of other opportunities for play and learning occur at Bush Kindy and aim to involve young children of all abilities, with their adult carers joining in the fun too. 

Due to covid19 restrictions all Brisbane City Council activities including Bush Kindy require bookings. Links are included below. 

Bush Kindy – South Brisbane

Where: Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre, 149 Acacia Road, Karawatha

When: 10am – 11am Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years)

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

Bush Kindy Scavenger Hunt/Guided Walks – South Brisbane

Where: Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre, 149 Acacia Road, Karawatha

When: 10am – 11am Fridays.

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years) including prams.

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

More about Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre

bush kindy south brisbane, karawatha

Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre is set on 1,000 hectares of bushland, and is home to a popular environment centre featuring a range of exhibits to engage and educate young visitors. It features a unique nature play area boasting a water pump and rocky stream water play. There are numerous walking tracks through the surrounding eucalypt forest, and the forest is home to over 100 bird species, squirrel gliders, the greater glider, koalas, and the green-thighed frog.

The centre also hosts a range of fun activities over the school holidays for kids of all ages. There is plenty of off-street parking, BBQ and picnic facilities, and wheelchair accessible bathroom facilities.

Bush Kindy – North Brisbane

Where: Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, 815 Rode Road, McDowall

When: 10am – 11am Tuesdays.

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years)

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

Bush Kindy Guided Walks – North Brisbane

Where: Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, 815 Rode Road, McDowall

When: 10am – 11am Thursdays. 

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years) including prams. 

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

More about Downfall Creek Bushland Centre

bush kindy north brisbane

There is a lot to like about Downfall Creek Bushland Centre at McDowall, located within the Raven Street Reserve. A nature haven surrounded by suburbia, there are a number of child-friendly bushwalks, and over 115 species of bird, pademelons and wallabies that are known to inhabit the reserve.

An environment centre sits as the central feature, alongside an impressive well-shaded fort style playground. There is plenty of off-street parking, BBQs and picnic tables, and wheelchair accessible toilets. One of our favourite features of the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is their native beehive, which is always a fascination for young children.

Throughout the year, and especially on school holidays, the centre holds a number of nature-based workshops for kids and even some spotlighting of nocturnal creatures.

Bush Kindy – North Brisbane

Where: Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, 31 Paperbark Drive, Boondall

When: 10am – 11am Thursdays. 

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years).

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

Bush Kindy Guided Walks – North Brisbane

Where: Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, 31 Paperbark Drive, Boondall

When: 10am – 11am Fridays.

Suitable for: Infants, toddlers and preschool kids (ages 0-5 years) including prams.

Cost: FREE

Bookings required: Book here

More about Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre

The Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre is part of the greater Boondall Wetlands which lie on the edge of Moreton Bay and includes over 1,000 hectares of mangroves, wetlands, tidal flats, salt-marshes and open forest. The centre is a place where you can learn and discover all there is to know about the wetlands environment. Fly like a bird in the animation area and engage your senses as you touch, feel and smell the many interactive displays dotted around the centre.

Whilst you are visiting the wetlands check out the many walking tracks, bike paths, picnic areas and even bird hides. There is ample off-street parking with most paths being easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams. 

For more information on Bush Kindys and the other low cost or free events held by Brisbane City Council’s environment centres, head to their website here.

Where Does the Term Bush Kindy Come From?

Bush kindy was originally inspired by ‘forest schools’ that began in Denmark and Sweden in the 1950s.

The world’s first forest school was created in Denmark by Ella Flautau in 1952. The neighborhood children formed their own ‘kindy’ running off and playing in the woods. The parents soon took notice and created their own Naturbørnehavens or Forest Schools. These quickly took off across Denmark. More than 70 years later and Forest Schools are an essential part of any preschool child’s educational journey in Denmark.

In neighboring Sweden, adult’s also began to notice young children’s desire to play in the meadows, make structures of snow and explore natural materials. Before the start of the 20th century, playing outside in nature was being incorporated into the Swedish curriculum as friluftsliv, or “free air life” but it wasn’t seen as a stand-alone program.

The idea of ‘rain or shine schools’ started in 50’s and gained immense popularity in the 1980’s when Siw Linde created forest schools where children could visit meadows, were taught to ski, sled and canoe.

Over time, Germany, the UK, the US and Canada also began to develop their own version of forest school programs.

How Can I Incorporate Nature Into My Child’s Life?

According the ABC there’s several easy ways to integrate the natural world into your kids routine:

  • Schedule extended periods of time in nature with children.
  • Ensure children have the appropriate clothing to experience all weathers.
  • Allow time for your toddler to explore and jump in every puddle on walks around your community.
  • Support a child-led inquiry model of learning.
  • Join or create a bush playgroup – many Bush Kindy’s began as parent initiatives.

 

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