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Here are some activities you can enjoy with your little one using things you already have at home or bits that can be found in your backyard. Have some fun with leaf tracing, rock painting or even making your own boats.

1. Backyard nature hunt

Have a backyard adventure! Before you set off, give your little one a basket or bag to use when collecting their nature finds. Take paper and a pencil with you to note down any creatures you spot.

Explore your own backyard and see what you can find. Keep your eyes peeled for branches, sticks, rocks, bark, little flowers and leaves of different colours. Finish by writing down or drawing the insects you spot!

2. Nature imprints in playdough

Collect leaves, sticks and rocks and stamp them into playdough to make imprints.

You can also play a game where you use a plastic animal toy’s feet to make footprints and match the footprint to the animal!

If you want to make your playdough from scratch here’s a recipe.

3. Make floating boats

Make some little boats for floating on the creek! You’ll need a piece of bark for the base, a stick for the mast and a leaf for the sail. Be sure to make a couple of boats so you can race them.

Fill a washing-up bowl, bucket or tray with shallow water and pop your boats on the water to see if they float.

Sailing tips: Be sure your boats are light so they don’t sink! Use some putty (Bluey-tak) or playdough underneath the base to help seal any holes.

Float your boats!

4. Rock painting

Take a walk around your backyard and collect some rocks. Be sure the rocks are nice and big so you can paint pictures on them. Use paints or colouring pencils to doodle a design onto the rock. When the paint is dry you can use your painted rocks to have a treasure hunt. Hide them around your house and garden for a fun game with your little one.

5. Painting with leaves

Grab paints, plain paper and some leaves from your backyard. You won’t be needing paint brushes! Instead of a brush, use the leaves as stamps to create different effects on your paper. Experiment with other patterns using sticks, flowers and bark. Let your painting dry and hang the work of art, pride-of-place on the fridge!

6. Tracing with leaves

Collect some leaves of all shapes and sizes from your backyard. Use a colouring pencil to trace around the leaves and draw the shapes on a plain piece of paper. You could also draw around rocks flowers or even plastic animals!

You can also use your leaves for leaf rubbing. Place the paper over the leaves and colour over them to create some original artwork.

7. Make playdough bugs

Use playdough or (child-friendly) modelling clay to make bugs you have spotted in your backyard. Shape the playdough into pieces to make your bug bodies and for wings, use tissue paper. For any flying creatures, you can attach your playdough bug to a twig and fly it around your garden and home.  

8. Make flower crowns

Collect flowers from your backyard. Start by carefully poking a hole near the end of the flower stem. Thread the stem of another flower through the hole and continue until you’ve connected an entire string of flowers. Complete your crown by connecting the final flower to the first one.

If your backyard doesn’t have many flowers, make a miniature flower crown for your Bandit figurine.

Tip: If you have bigger flowers, weave them onto a headband for a sturdy flower crown.

Have fun in your own backyard!

The creek play tray

The creek play tray

Going on a backyard nature hunt, building boats, making flower crowns, handmade bugs and homemade playdough will come in handy if you want to make The Creek play tray!

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