These activities, projects and resources are suitable for Kindergarten up to Grade 2. Merri Creek Management Committee’s educators can link several activities in a session to explore a range of concepts.
We can come to your Kindergarten, Early Learning Centre or explore the amazing outdoor classroom near our waterways with interactive sessions that stimulate the imagination, promote active learning and are great fun. We call this Nature Play. Young children remind us about the simple and amazing wonders in nature all around us. Merri Creek Management Committee’s environmental educators guide free Nature Playtime in outdoor bushy places for two to five year-olds. We emphasise the children’s experience as we wander, pause, listen and slow down together and notice the bark, clouds and creatures around us.
For further information on environmental pedagogies and pre MCMC visit activities refer to our Early Childhood Teacher’s Water Education Manual.
Waterwatch Early Years list of activities - these can be tailored to your learning needs
Critters in the Creek
Children are introduced to creek critters that call our local creeks home. This includes local animals such as the Rakali, Platypus, Sacred Kingfisher, the Short finned eel and many others. Children will meet a live Spotted Marsh frog and hear the sounds of frogs and local birds. This activity can be run as an incursion or excursion and teamed with Kingfisher on Kids, Story time with puppets, waterbug discovery and fascinating frogs.
There are many themes to explore with this activity including:
- There are bugs living in the creek – bugs have adaptations that help them live in/on/around water
- How different types of waterbugs move
- Waterbugs can tell us how healthy the creek is
Frog activities include creating frog lifecycles (craft activity), frog jumping activity, creating frog habitat and talking frogs (learn the calls of local frogs and play a game to try and remember them). Visit local wetlands to see where real frogs hang out.
Five Senses in the Field
Use the five senses to thoughtfully observe and explore habitat values in outdoor settings. See tiny animals magnified, regard the tree canopy from below, using mirrors and binoculars, and consider the sound, smell and sensation of natural areas in a focussed way to stimulate appreciation and inquiry.
Children learn about creek life, consider the special adaptations of frogs and waterbugs and focus on features such as body shape. They use their observations to create similar creatures using a variety of natural and craft materials. This activity works well with Waterbug discovery and Five senses in the field. Critters can be made from materials found in nature and recycled materials.
Indigenous cultural heritage and waterways
Indigenous people have long recognised many values in local waterway plants for medicines and to make eel traps and baskets. In this activity children handle local waterway grasses and consider the traditions and heritage of the Wurundjeri-willam people.
Children take the roles of characters that live along Merri Creek in various parts of the landscape such as grasslands, farmed land and urban areas. Each character adds a different type of pollution (from grass clippings to oil) into a bowl of water representing the creek to see how human activity impacts water quality.
Kingfishers on Kids
Learn about the community’s role to restore indigenous habitat through environmental restoration. Consider the impact on animals such as Sacred Kingfishers who visit Merri Creek in spring after a long journey from Indonesia. Create your own clip-on Kingfisher to take home.
Who’s still hiding? Story time with finger puppets
Meet Duck, Rakali, Turtle and another special guest at the creek side in this engaging story aimed at Grade Prep and younger. Children will discuss which native animals live along Melbourne’s rivers, creeks and wetlands and how to identify them.
In nature or at Kinder our huge map of the Merri Creek catchment map brings home many messages about the nature of a catchment and provides an instructive tool for discussions with children about the environment, and animals that live on the Merri Creek.
Learning Grounds – Creating an indigenous garden
Shine a light on local biodiversity and establish Kinder gardens using local indigenous plants of the Merri Creek catchment. We involve children, consider master plans, garden concepts and grant applications. Looking for inspiration? Come with us to visit other Kindergarten’s indigenous gardens.
Creek Clean Ups!
A great activity for Clean Up Australia Day, National Water Week, or an addition to any community programs or events. Children safely pick up litter around your local waterway, survey the types and amount of litter and then remove it. The data from the litter survey is uploaded onto the Statewide citizen science program LitterWatch Victoria, so we can better understand and identify the litter pollution hot spots on our waterways. All equipment is included, including children-sized gloves and litter pick-up sticks, plus safety advice, and a presentation on water quality health.
For more information
Is there a charge?
Most programs and activities are offered free of charge as they are funded through a variety of sources (sessions not covered by funding can be charged to your Kindergarten or Early Learning Centre by arrangement). We look forward to hearing from you!