NATURE PLAY ACTIVITIES IN AUTUMN IN MELBOURNE

1. Aim to complete a nature colour wheel

This is a fun activity to do at different times of the year to see which colours are easier or more difficult to find in nature as the seasons change. You simply print off the wheel (and laminate it if you wish to use it again and again) and grab a handful of clothes pegs to attach your finds then off exploring you go. You can download a free printable here: Nature Color Wheel Activity ⋆ Mimosas and Motherhood.

2. Make a nature (or fairy or wizard) wand

Fill your pockets with a few pipe cleaners and maybe some bits and pieces like scraps of wool or ribbon and head out for a walk. Select a suitable stick and gather Autumn leaves and use the pipe cleaners to bind them to one end of your wand.

3. Jump in muddy puddles

An oldie but a goodie. After the dry months of summer make the most of those first glorious, muddy puddles as the weather turns. Jump, splash and dance away. Once you are suitably wet and filthy head home for a warm bath and maybe a hot chocolate.

4. Go on a scavenger hunt

Kids just love a good scavenger hunt. If you are doing one in your own yard you can use chalk to draw circles on the ground and in each write something like 3 white flowers, or a piece of bark or an item that smells nice. Have you children run off and find them and bring them back and place them in the circle. If you are heading out for a walk an old egg carton is perfect to collect your treasures. Download a free egg carton scavenger hunt printable here: How to Create Fun Nature Treasure Hunts Using Egg Cartons | WinterKids.

5. Make a nature crown

Grab some colourful cardboard and measure it around your head and cut points like a crown, taping the ends together. Get outdoors and gather a range of Autumn leaves, flowers and if you are lucky maybe even feathers. When you return home use glue or sticky tape to decorate your crown with your nature finds.

6. Make a mandala

This is almost a form of active mediation or mindfulness. Find a flat piece of ground and gather an array of small nature items like nuts, flowers, pods, stones and sticks and create symmetrical patterns.

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".