The weather is getting cooler, the days are shortening and everything in nature is preparing for the winter season. Traditionally, this has been a time for developing bravery, resilience and patience to weather the cooler months ahead.
So, how can we develop these traits in our children during this time of uncertainty and social distancing? We can’t visit playgrounds or visit friends and the usual school holiday activities are simply unavailable. However, we can connect more meaningfully with those natural places that Western Australia has in abundance.
To help parents through this period, we have compiled a short list of activities to build those important seasonal traits while keeping our children content and engaged during the autumn school holidays.
The Perth Hills Discovery Centre may be closed but keep walking past the buildings and you will discover the Sense-sational Walk. Located deep in the bush is a rope course that can be navigated in teams of two – one team member blindfolded and the other guiding them along a gentle rope trail. There are also log circles and bug hotels to explore in the area.
Connect with the region’s Indigenous mythology in this picturesque and family-friendly hike. Children can discover one of the largest known Aboriginal campsites in Perth while uncovering the origin of the Waugul and its impact on the Avon and Swan Rivers. This 5km hike starts at Walyunga Pool and takes approximately 1 ½ hours.
Located next door to the Kalamunda Camel Farm, this 800m mountain biking track will develop those bravery, resilience and patience traits. With obstacles and tracks ranging from beginner through to intermediate, cyclists follow an interpretive skills trail to hone their biking talents. There are also several other trails leaving from this area for those seeking a broader cycling experience.
Explore the river that our school is named after in this moderate 5.2km loop walk through Kalamunda National Park. There is an abundance of tree and plant species in this area which can form the basis for a nature hunt. Start the trail from the end of Helena Valley Road.
Create your own interpretive walk of Perth’s river systems with this downloadable Aboriginal history of the Swan and Canning Rivers, available on the Department of Parks and Wildlife website. Traverse regions from Fremantle through to Ellenbrook and learn about these areas of significance.
Although these areas are generally uncrowded please ensure that you do undertake the necessary social distancing practices recommended at this time. We are wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable first week of school holidays.