22 August 2012

Biodiversity for kids during the September holidays!

Exciting nature activities for kids are lined up for the September school holidays! Lots of fun ways to discover and enjoy Singapore's biodiversity!
On 1 Sep (Sat), explore Pasir Ris mangrove boardwalk
on the FREE walk by the Naked Hermit Crabs
Learn about wild boar and our night creatures, check out boardwalks at Chek Jawa, Pasir Ris, Sungei Buloh, visit trails at Bukit Brown, MacRitchie, Southern Ridges, and lots of other workshops and activities. Here's highlights of some of the many exciting nature events for kids during the school holidays. Many for free!

FREE events

1 Sep (Sat): Free Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk tour
with the Naked Hermit Crabs
There are fascinating mangroves at Pasir Ris Park! Easily explored through the boardwalks  and it's open even at night! Here, we are sure to see lots of crazy tree climbing crabs, delightful giant mudskippers and cool monitor lizards. Pasir Ris is also one of the few places where nesting herons are easily observed. And as the sun sets, we might spot some nocturnal animals like watersnakes. If we're lucky, we may catch a glimpse of the rare Mangrove pitta or the family of otters that have been seen here! For kids and families. Pre-registration required.

1 Sep (Sat): Free Bird-watching along the Southern Ridges
Join this chirpy experience at Telok Blangah Hill Park! Comprising lush green open spaces and forested areas, the Southern Ridges is home to numerous species of flora and fauna. 43 species of birds have been recently surveyed in this area, and some of them are rare and uncommon. Bring along your binoculars and you may spot some of the 43 species of birds that may be found here! Pre-registration required.

1 Sep (Sat): Plant Parts - a free workshop for kids
Join us for this fun indoor activity where children can ‘create’ their own plant, while recognising the mains parts of plants and understanding their different functions. Just as each of the organs of our body performs a specific role, each part of a plant, such as roots, stem, leaves, flowers and fruits, has its special function too! For kids 5-12 years old, Queenstown Public Library.

8 Sep (Sat): Young Naturalists Passport Camp at Sungei Buloh
This one day camp encompasses a series of fun-filled and educational indoor and outdoor learning of the wetlands and nature conservation issues through worksheets, nature walks and hands-on activities. Children will earn a stamp for every completed activity, and a full collection of stamps will earn them a series of cloth badges.Limited to 40 kids 6-10 years old. Pre-registration required.

8 Sep (Sat): FREE Chek Jawa boardwalk tour
with the Naked Hermit Crabs
See Chek Jawa without getting your feet wet. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boars, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth. For kids and families. Pre-registration required.
Families celebrating National Day at the Free Chek Jawa walk
with the Naked Hermit Crabs

8 Sep (Sat): HeART for Nature - FREE workshop for kids
This FREE art workshop helps children to delve deep into their hearts to express nature in various themed art activities like drawing, fingerprinting, origami, puppet making. The children will also learn about our natural heritage. For kids 5 to 8 years (with parental supervision). Pre-registration required.
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Chang

9 Sep (Sun): M.A.D. (Make A Difference) for Wild Pigs
A FREE education programme by Cicada Tree Eco-Place. Where do wild pigs live in Singapore? Are there wild pigs that live in other parts of the world? What do wild pigs look like? If we should meet a with a wild pig, what should we do? Note: This workshop will not bring you into close contact with wild pigs. For kids 5 and 10 years. Pre-registration required.
Wild boar piglets (Sus scrofa)

MORE events

1 Sep (Sat): MacRitchie Forest and Trails Walk
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
MacRitchie is more than just a reservoir from which we draw life-sustaining water for our daily consumption. It is also one of the last strongholds to some precious patches of primary rain forests left in Singapore today. Giant keruing trees, nutmegs, oak and other native tree species provide a wonderful representation of what a tropical forest is like. A walk along her many footpaths and boardwalks will bring you back in time to the majesty of the pristine forest ecosystem that had once covered the whole island of Singapore in pre-Raffles times. Some of the animals that can be seen there are flying dragons, skinks, clouded monitors, long-tailed macaques, squirrels, colugos and fish eagles.
$13 per person (adult or child). Pre-registration required.

2 Sep (Sun): Strange Plants Workshop! for kids
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
Some plants have really strange qualities! Plants like Pitcher Plants, Venue Fly-traps and Sundews eat up bugs, while other plants like Ant Plants and Ant Ferms provide food for bugs which protect them. Some plants have sweet leaves or shoots which may be eaten, while others are poisonous and should never be consumed. In this lesson, kids will learn about the Ant Plant and its symbiotic relationship with ants. Kids will also see examples of useful plants like the Rattan. The lesson will end with a walk in the garden where kids will get to hunt for all sorts of strange plants. For kids 5-10 years. $25 per child. Pre-registration required.

2 Sep (Sun): Bukit Brown Cemetery walk
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
Bukit Brown Cemetery, also known as 'Kopi Sua' or Coffee Hill in the Hokkien dialect, is a Chinese cemetery established in the early 20th century. This interesting, old and lushly vegetated cemetery is still open to the public and has become a home and habitat to a diversity of wildlife. During the year-end migratory season, many rare migrating bird species may be spotted in this cemetery. Locally rare wildlife such as the Musang or Palm Civet lives here, surviving on the fruit trees growing here such as Rambai, Durian, Rambutan, and Nangka. Our easy stroll on a level, tar road will take us on a loop through the cemetery and back to the main entrance. $13 per person (adult or child). Pre-registration required.

4 Sep (Tue): Nite Crawlie Critter walk
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
Singapore Botanic Gardens jungle boardwalk trail. We explore one of Singapore's oldest jungle patch at night to see what goes bump in the dark. Nocturnal wildlife still to be found living inside this jungle includes owls, the Red-legged Crake, Four-lined Tree frog, Whip Scorpion and other unique creepie-crawlies to be encountered. $15 per kid (suitable for kids 5 years and above). No charge for 1 accompanying adult. Pre-registration required.

5 Sep (Wed): Chek Jawa Walk
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
We go on the extensive boardwalk at Chek Jawa on Pulau Ubin. Here we shall see a diversity of unique flora and fauna. At low tide, exposed seaweeds used to be collected by locals to feed their pigs. From the mangroves, Attap Palm leaves were harvested for thatching while durable Nibong Palm trunks were used to build kelongs. The shallow sea here has incredible marine biodiversity, and is home to many species of fishes, starfishes, anemones, crabs, sponges, seaweeds, including the Dugong or Sea Cow which comes in to graze the extensive seagrass beds here. Note: It will be on the boardwalk and walking on mudflats is not allowed. Trails: Wooden boardwalk. Earth paths, some parts with gentle slopes. $15 per person (adult or child), excluding the bumboat ride and mini-bus ride to Chek Jawa. Pre-registration required.

6 Sep (Thu): Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
This wetland reserve is now a resting and feeding spot for migratory birds. But it also hosts a fantastic diversity of native fauna and flora. In the past, the area had several kampongs (villages) with the locals tending to vegetable and fruit tree plots. Many of these fruit trees and traditional herbs still survive and may be encountered along the trails. The people also constructed fish and prawn ponds in the mangroves. These are now used by the birds. Of late, otters, civets & estuarine crocodiles have also made Sg. Buloh their home. Come see for yourselves! Trails: Level dirt paths and boardwalks suitable for children, the elderly, disabled or participants using wheelchairs. $13 per person (adult or child), excluding park entrance fees. Pre-registration required.

6 Sep (Thu): The Birthday Party: Sara at The Children's Garden
Sara is celebrating her baby brother's birthday party. At the last minute, she realizes she forgot the birthday present! Help Sara search for the perfect gift at the Children's Garden. Along the way, have a fun and memorable experience in this Garden dedicated to children. Suitable for kids in K1 – P2. $8.50 per child (includes $2.50 “The Birthday Party. Sara at the Children’s Garden” workbook); $6 per accompanying parent. Pre-registration required.

9 Sep (Sun): We Love Insects! - workshop for kids
with Cicada Tree Eco Place
A fun workshop on insects! Learn more about butterflies, moths, dragonflies, damselflies, ants and other creepy crawlies that live in HortPark. This lesson will include a guided nature walk to look for insects amongst the bushes and ponds of HortPark's gardens. All kids will go home with an art and craft souvenir which they will colour and assemble after the nature walk. For kids 5 years and older, $25 per child. Pre-registration required.

You can also explore on your own! Check out the many DIY Trail Guides on the NParks website. Explore the new Berlayar Creek boardwalk, check out our heritage trees, visit Pulau Ubin and more! More about our wild places on wildsingapore. A tip to avoid the crowds on school holiday weekends, come early. That's when wildlife is more active anyway. And leave before it gets too hot.

MORE school holiday activities on the wildsingapore happenings blog. 

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