A great school holiday programme activity is a native plant survival challenge. We simply pick a selection of specific native plants (or print some photos of certain ones if we can’t get hold of them e.g. flowers or fruit depending on the time of the year). These native plants are laid out on a table, and kids with their families have to match which plants are used for which activities in the bush. E.g. Rangiora leaves (Brachiglottis) is used as toilet paper – which as you can imagine the kids love to learn.
We set up six sets of the same activity to handle large numbers of people.
At the end of the challenge, kids are encouraged to draw a picture of what they would take into the bush, which we then add to a portfolio they leave with us, or take home with them.
Kids and parents alike love learning about how useful native plants are, and always enjoy this activity as a family. It’s simple, cheap (we created the cards once and use them repeatedly) and a wonderful way to enthuse visitors about plants.
There are many facets to a botanic gardens. Visitors enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the outdoor space and engaging with the plant displays. Children like to explore for plants and animals that inhabit a garden.
To cater for a child’s inquisitive mind the Australian National Botanic Gardens has recently opened a children’s trails – Who Did That? The trail uses animal models and interactive signage to explore the relationship between animals and plants.
The trail was developed by Gardens’ Visitor Services Ranger Katy Penman and features beautiful artwork and poetry created by Katy. Examples of Katy’s artwork and words can be seen in accompanying images. The use of original artwork is a highlight of this trail.
We hope you get the chance to enjoy the Who Did That? children’s trail.
What are you planning for the BGANZ Open Day 2017? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments – it would be great to hear about your programmes. We’ve got a line-up of scheduled activities as well as some self-guided trails that we are highlighting. The Department of Conservation (DOC) will also be joining us.