04 March 2013

Biodiversity for kids during the March school holidays

Exciting nature activities specially for kids are lined up for March school holidays! Lots of fun ways to discover and enjoy Singapore's biodiversity!
Choose from guided walks at mangroves (Pasir Ris, Admiralty, Sungei Buloh),wetlands (Kranji Marsh, Sengkang Riverside), forests (Bukit Timah, Southern Ridges, Bukit Batok), offshore islands (Pulau Ubin's Sensory Trail). Or go cycling at Changi. Join fun children's activities from treasure hunts, drama and craft workshops, night walks and lots more. Also opportunities to make a difference for our forests as a family.

FREE events

16 Mar (Sat) and 23 Mar (Sat): Mangrove walk at Sungei Buloh Free guided nature walk along the Mangrove boardwalk under shady mangrove trees. Spot mudskippers, crabs and other marine life, learn about our mangroves, enjoy views of the Johor straits. Suitable for young children.

16 Mar (Sat): A walk in an ancient forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the largest surviving primary rainforest in Singapore. Come and join us on a fascinating journey of discovery to learn more about the natural wonders of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and why we should protect and conserve its complex ecosystem and diversity. This free guided walk will introduce you to the common native flora and fauna found in the primary rainforest. This guided walk is suitable for families with children 9 and above, and groups of not more than 5.

16 Mar (Sat): Fun walk along the Southern Ridges Take your family on a leisurely stroll through the Southern Ridges, a soothing sanctuary of greenery that is steeped in history and home to some of nature's greatest gifts of flora and fauna. Highlights of the free tour include the Henderson Waves, Sembcorp Forest of Giants, Forest Walk and Singing Forest. This free walk is conducted by the Sembcorp volunteer guides.

16 Mar (Sat): Heritage Tree and Heritage Roads Tour (Southern Singapore) Heritage Trees are mature trees of special historical, botanical, social, cultural and/or aesthetic value in society. Through this tour, you can get up close and personal with the trees, which are an important part of our roots as a City in a Garden. This session will bring participants to a tour of selected Heritage Trees and Heritage Roads in the Southern part of Singapore. The tour is limited to 35 participants. Registration is free of charge.

17 Mar (Sun): Birdwatching at Kranji Marsh Open to the public. To celebrate 2013 World Water Day, Nature Society (Singapore) together with PUB is conducting a birdwatching walk at Kranji Marshes and the nearby Kranji Reservoir Bund.We begin with a pleasant stroll along a countryside road to the Kranji Marshes where we will continue our walk along the PUB Bund. Birding highlights here include the Red-wattled Lapwing, Purple Swamphen, Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, White-browed Crake, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle and more.

23 Mar (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! Join the Naked Hermit Crabs for an evening stroll through this interesting but often overlooked mangrove. 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!

24 Mar (Sun): Otter Cycling Trail @ Changi Get engaged with wildlife and some exercise while you’re at it. Join the Otter Cycling Trail, a bike ride that runs along the NPark’s Park Connector Networks in the northeastern part of Singapore. Interspersed with pit stops, your friendly guides will introduce you to a host of wildlife in beat-up natural areas that run along the route. What’s more, these are all the hotspots for otter sightings – we may get to see them if we’re reeeally lucky!

24 Mar (Sun): Help conserve our forest! Help play a part in conserving our forests by participating in our invasive species removal programme. You will help improve the quality of the habitat on site, so join us if you are keen to make a change! Individuals, families and organised groups such as schools and corporate companies are welcome to participate.

MORE nature activities

16 Mar (Sat): "Trees Around Us" - drama workshop for kids Trees around us are of great importance to nature and to our environment. They contribute countless benefits to our daily lives by shading us from the hot sun, shielding us from rain, providing us with clean air. Trees are also homes to many living creatures. Through play and dramatization in this drama series, children get to take on various participating roles in the story, to learn about the beauty of trees. Through each story, children learn to emulate and incorporate good, moral value in their lives. Based on a short story by Shel Silverstein, children will open their eyes to another side of trees. They will learn that a tree has many wonders and through this short drama, participants will see in various ways that trees can contribute to our daily lives. Suitable for children in K1 – P6 levels. $10/child.

16 Mar (Sat): Guided walk at the Sensory Trail, Pulau Ubin Experience Ubin's wonderful nature through your senses along our Sensory Trail. This is an excellent introduction to the rustic and natural character of the island. You will be able to touch, see or smell fruit trees, spices and herbs for cooking, plants used in traditional medicine and native plants of the mangrove forest. $60 per group of 15 persons, maximum 6 groups.

16 Mar (Sat): Roots, Shoots, & Fruits Guided Walk Learn more about the diversity of plant life, their unique and interesting characteristics, and their importance to people at Admiralty Park. $5 per person/ $80 per venue (for 15 persons)

17 Mar (Sun): Flights of Fantasy! for kids If you are between the ages of 5 to 10  years old, and are interested in birds, join in this bird-watching workshop and find out about the birds and plants that live on and around the Singing Forest along the Forest Walk. Bring along your binoculars and you might spot some of the 43 species of birds that may be found here! Planted along the Southern Ridges, these fruit trees form the Singing Forest - an arboretum project undertaken by the National Parks Board as part of its effort to enhance biodiversity within urban areas. This programme is conducted with Cicada Tree Eco Place. $10 per child.

18 Mar (Mon): Children's Treasure Hunt - a guided tour A giant forgetful prehistoric dinosaur has left its eggs in the Singapore Botanic Gardens! Children will discover some interesting members of the plant kindgom in this guided tour ending in a treasure hunt. Suitable for children in K1 - P2 levels. $8.50 per child (includes $2.50 "Sara, The Forgetful Dinosaur" Workbook)

22 Mar (Fri): Adventure with Plants - Sara at the Evolution Garden In this guided tour for kids, join a giant prehistoric dinosaur, Sara, who lost her friends in the Evolution Garden. Travel back through time with Sara and help her search for her squirrel friends. By going through the thematic trail, you will also learn about some ancient plants which emerged on earth millions of years ago! Suitable for children in K1 – P2 levels. $8.50 per child (includes $2.50 "Adventure with Plants, Sara at the Evolution Garden" workbook) and $6 per accompanying adult.

23 Mar (Sat): Workshop for kids - We Love the Night Life! Who loves the night life? Bats, snakes, frogs, toads, owls and night jars! Join our lesson to find out more - we will start with a talk showcasing native nocturnal wildlife, followed by an art and craft session where kids can make and keep paper souvenirs of our nocturnal animals. The event will end with a night walk at HortPark where we will try and spot nocturnal wildlife. Suitable for kids 5-10, this programme is conducted with Cicada Tree Eco Place. $25 per child.

23 Mar (Sat): Roots, Shoots, & Fruits Guided Walk Learn more about the diversity of plant life, their unique and interesting characteristics, and their importance to people at Sengkang Riverside Park. $5 per person/ $80 per venue (for 15 persons)

23 Mar (Sat): Kent Ridge Park Heritage Tour Kent Ridge Park is one of the few places in Singapore that is rich in both historical and natural heritage. Discover the interesting flora and fauna, and learn all about the fiercest and one of the last battles fought in Singapore during World War II. Suitable for kids aged 7 and above. $7 per person.

23 Mar (Sat): "A Forest No Less" in Bukit Batok Nature Park Learn about the importance of the forest in your daily life!  This one hour tour at Bukit Batok Nature Park highlights the interesting plants and wildlife found in an established secondary forest habitat. $5 per person.

March is the last chance to visit the Public Gallery at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research! The Gallery will be closed on 1 Apr in preparation for the move to the new museum in 2014.

So if you haven't visited the Gallery yet, or would like to get a last look, drop by before 1 April! A great family outing for the March school holidays too! More details.

You can also explore on your own! Check out the many DIY Trail Guides on the NParks website. 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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