20 May 2013

Biodiversity for kids during the June school holidays

Exciting nature activities specially for kids are lined up for June school holidays! Lots of fun ways to discover and enjoy Singapore's biodiversity!
Volunteer the whole family to help in forest conservation or in rescuing horseshoe crabs. Lots of free activities including art workshops, guided walk at Chek Jawa boardwalk, see how traditional prawn farming was done, get a closer look and understanding of our wild monkeys. Or join workshops on owls, butterflies, pond life and lots more!

VOLUNTEER and make a wild difference!

29 Jun (Sat): 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 around the Sembcorp Forest of Giants, 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. The event is free but pre-registration is required and is on a first-come-first-served basis. Registrations close 1 week before each programme. All programmes will only commence with a minimum of 15 participants.

Horseshoe Crab Rescue and Research with the Nature Society (Singapore) on 1 Jun (Sat) and 15 Jun (Sat) and 29 Jun (Sat)
Join the Nature Society to rescue and study the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (HSC).

FREE events 

1 Jun (Sat): HeART for Nature - FREE workshop for kids
At Hindhede Nature Park (meet at Pulai Hut). 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. Suitable for children aged 5 to 8 years (with parental supervision).
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Chang

1 Jun (Sat): Free Chek Jawa boardwalk tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs
The Naked Hermit Crabs introduce you to 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 boar, 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.

1 Jun (Sat): Prawn and Fish Demo at Sungei Buloh 
Free guided introduction to traditional prawn and fish farming. Go on a journey back to the past, where the history of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve as prawn and fish farms is one not to be ignored. The importance of mangroves as a spawning place and nursery for prawns and other life played an important role in shaping Sungei Buloh today. The traditional method of prawn harvesting will be demonstrated and how the tidal influence play a part in this activity will be brought to life. The highlight is a real hands-on demonstration of a prawn harvest. The kids will be thrilled to check out what comes up with the net, see real live prawns and learn more about our seafood and the tides. The walk is approximately 5km on wide earthen trails. Suitable for older children who are reasonably fit.

8 Jun (Sat): Forest walk at the Botanic Gardens Rainforest Trail
A free guided nature walk through a rainforest right in the heart of the city! Along a boardwalk, under the shade of giant trees, learn about our rainforests, spot forest creatures and strange plants. Suitable for young children. Tours in Mandarin are available at 10am and 4pm.

8 Jun (Sat): HeART for Nature - FREE workshop for kids 
At Dairy Farm Nature Park- Wallace Education Centre. 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. Suitable for children aged 5 to 8 years (with parental supervision).
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Chang

8 Jun (Sat): A walk with your neighbours - the macaques of Bukit Timah 
The long-tailed macaques at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are commonly seen, but often misunderstood. Few know about the social world of these monkeys. They have family members, power struggles, friends, foes, and a complex social network. In many ways, they mirror our own social life! If you would like to learn more about your community and the interesting world of your neighbouring macaques at Bukit Timah, please join our walk, led by experts in these unique creatures.

15 Jun (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. Along a slightly undulating natural path, the trail is not accessible to prams and wheelchairs.

16 Jun (Sun): Birdwatching at Kranji Marshes with Nature Society (Singapore)
Open to the public but children below 12 are not allowed for safety reasons. From the meeting point, a hired bus will ferry us to our destination. We begin with a pleasant stroll along a countryside road to the Kranji Marshes where we will continue our walk along the PUB Bund. The marsh is designated by URA as a Nature Park and is currently adopted by NSS under PUB's ABC Waters Programme. 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.
Photo by Tsang KC

22 Jun (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.

MORE events

1 Jun (Sat): Nature Sketching in the Garden
Join us for this art-and-nature appreciation workshop and draw at leisure in a beautiful garden setting. The workshop will cover basic landscape and nature drawing, as well as colour theory, with emphasis on understanding the unique characteristics of our gardens, nature, flora and fauna. This workshop is conducted by Tham Puisan, an avid artist who expresses his passion for nature through his artwork. He welcomes participants of all ages or anyone who wants to learn. Suitable for adults and youths 12 years and above. $21 per person, materials included.

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

Fun with Maths & Plants! on 1 Jun (Sat): and and 13 Jun (Thu):
Have fun being a little Mathematician and discover plants at the same time! Learn basic math concepts through colours, shapes, sizes and numbers. Practice your skills using leaves, flowers and other plant parts. You will discover that Mathematics is fun and interesting! Suitable for children in K1 – P2 levels. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying parent.

Young Mathematician of the Garden on 1 Jun (Sat): and 13 Jun (Thu):
How many petals are there on a flower? Count the number of leaflets on a leaf. Get introduced to addition, subtraction, and many more mathematical skills that you can apply to plants. Be a young Mathematician of the Garden in this guided tour and have fun learning about Maths and Plants. Suitable for children in P3 – P6 levels. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying parent.

4 Jun (Tue): Let's Learn About Dragonflies - A guided tour for kids
Did you know that dragonflies are among one of the most ancient winged insects in the world? If we travel back to the Jurassic age, you will realise that they have not changed very much in terms of their body structures! Join us in this guided tour to learn more about this beautiful insect in Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. You will learn the differences between a dragonfly and damselfly, its life cycle as well as the habits of a dragonfly. During the tour, we will also observe the dragonflies up close with a magnifying glass. Suitable for children in P1 – P3 levels. $9 per child and $9 per accompanying adult.

5 Jun (Wed): Storytime with Sara at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Join us for a fun-filled storytelling session, specially designed for little ones. Children will explore Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden with Sara the Botanicosaurus and her squirrel friends, Fluff-tail and Twitchy. To conclude the programme, children will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with plants that are featured in the story, and even have the chance to rock the Suspension Bridge and play hide-and-seek in the Maze. Suitable for children in N1 – N2 levels. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult.

Discover Pond Life - a guided tour for kids on 8 Jun (Sat) and 24 Jun (Mon):
How do aquatic plants survive when they are submerged in water? What are the special characteristics that aquatic plants have which enable them to float on water surface? Aquatic plants are also habitats to many animals. Discover the fascinating pond ecology and be introduced to food chains and the ecosystem. You will be amazed by the many different types of aquatic plants and animals that could be found in the ponds. Suitable for children in K1 – P6 levels. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult.

8 Jun (Sat): NSS Kids’ Fun with Beautiful Butterflies at Upper Seletar Reservoir
Open to the public. Get acquainted with the forest butterflies that call Upper Seletar Reservoir home. Passionate butterfly watchers KC and Amy Tsang will introduce us to one of their favourite butterfly playgrounds, populated with many from the Nymphalidae family: Cruiser, Malay Lacewing, Rustic, Malayan Lascar, Malay Viscount, Archduke, as well as beauties such as the Branded Imperial and Fluffy Tit from the Lycaenidae family. Attire: Do wear green, blue, brown or grey clothing, walking shoes and bring insect repellent. For children 4 to 12 years old. $5 per child (member) or $10 per child (non-member) will be collected on the spot. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to join in at no charge.

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

15 Jun (Sat): Workshop for kids - Oooo...owls!
Who goes "hoo-hoo" in our forests at night? Why do we think they are so wise? What "special powers" do they have? Do they exist here in Singapore? Discover more about these beautiful nocturnal birds, and learn to make an owl hanging poster at the end of the session. Suitable for kids 5-10 years. $25 per child.

15 Jun (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
Fragrant Pandan

22 Jun (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.

27 Jun (Thu): Sara Goes To Supermarket Garden - a guided tour for kids
Sara, the Botanicosaurus is back! This time Sara, with her siblings and friends, visit the Supermarket Garden in the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Join Sara to learn fascinating facts and hear interesting stories about the banana, peanut, soya bean, sugarcane, sweet potato and many more yummy fruits and vegetables in this special garden. Alongside learning about plants which you can eat, pick up tips on being a nutritional winner by eating delicious greens to stay strong and healthy. Suitable for children in K1 - P6 levels, 5-12 years. $9 per child (includes $3 “Sara goes to the Supermarket Garden” workbook) and $6 per accompanying adult.

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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