We know being stuck at home can be challenging, but WWF-Australia’s here to keep you company. We've compiled a bunch of fun activities and ideas to keep you and your household entertained over the weekend. Now’s the time to get creative, learn and explore nature while we #StayAtHome.
Take a safari in your own garden (or from your balcony or window) this weekend! Aussie backyards are rich ecosystems just waiting to be explored! Depending on where you live you might come across common backyard animals and plants like a brushtail possum, rainbow lorikeet or bottlebrush tree. If you spot something you’re not familiar with, download the Seek app by iNaturalist and WWF to find out what weird and wonderful species you have in your garden. Using image recognition technology, Seek can identify plants and animals and connect you with a like-minded community of nature lovers. This long weekend activity is sure to keep the kids (or yourself) entertained as you channel your inner David Attenborough and learn about the flora and fauna in your area.
Have you watched Our Planet yet? Our Planet is a Netflix original documentary series and a groundbreaking four year collaboration between Netflix, Silverback Films and WWF. It explores the rich natural wonders, iconic species and wildlife spectacles that still remain, and reveals the key issues that urgently threaten their existence.
There’s never been a better time to start watching, or to rewatch again! If you live with family or friends, queue up an episode or two over the weekend, or watch Our Planet with them virtually. There are lots of apps and plugins that allow you to share screens and watch real time, no matter where your family and friends are in the world. Check out Netflix Party to start watching virtually.
While you're at it, join people around the world and give your voice to the planet.
Hone your green thumb. Order some seeds online and get planting! This is the perfect time to start that veggie patch, balcony garden or plant a tree. There are also lots of veggies you can simply regrow from scraps - and the best part? You don't even need a garden! For instance, green onions and leeks can be cut an inch from the root and left in a glass of water to regrow. For herbs, leave an extra couple of inches of stem and place in water for new roots to sprout before moving into a pot with soil. Check out the full list here.
To bring nature closer to home, there are also plenty of Australian native plants and trees to attract wildlife and bees to your apartment balcony or garden. Check out our list here.
Don't forget to exercise this long weekend and enjoy the fresh air. If you're not in enforced self-isolation, head outdoors locally for a physically-distanced bike ride or walk, and take in nature. Exercise is unsurprisingly hugely beneficial for mental health and heading outdoors can provide a much needed energy boost (and dose of Vitamin D) during these times. Try to make this a daily activity and keep your Seek app handy in case you come across any new animal friends along the way (while maintaining a 1.5 m distance, of course).
Staying at home provides a great opportunity to get crafty. The following activities are great for both adults and kids.
- Make a bird feeder or nesting box: Cover an old toilet roll (or any cardboard tube) in peanut butter (ensure no added salt and sugar free so it is safe for birds), and roll in a wild bird seed mix. Thread through some string or place on a branch so the birds can enjoy. Enjoy DIY and have some wood lying around? Think about making a wildlife nesting box.
- Try your hand at some animal origami: WWF has a range of templates for you to try! Get folding today. If origami isn’t for you, grab a pencil and try drawing some of your favourite animals. Send us a photo of your creations, or share them on social media tagging @WWFAustralia and #SmileForNature
- Colour in and win: Get colouring! Download the stencil and post your finish masterpiece on social media by tagging @WWFAustralia and #CansForKoalas - or alternatively, share a photo in the comments on our Facebook channel. TOMRA will be giving away a WWF-Australia koala adoption pack to 5 lucky winners!
Although many of us might not be able to spend this time with family and friends, remember to stay connected and check in on loved ones - and even share this list of ideas with them. We hope these activities serve as a reminder to look to nature as a source of inspiration and joy during this time.