Nippers in Nature


Bush Preschool at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Reconnect your wild side at our nature-play activities designed for preschool children aged 3-5 and their carers.

Kids in the bush

The benefits of playtime in nature are enormous!

The simple process of building a cubby house can teach a child about physics (forces, balance, movement), practice their fine and gross motor skills (carrying, positioning, tying), expand their creative thinking (make-believe and problem solving) and allow them to experience and manage their own risk-taking.

At Nippers in Nature our programs feature opportunities for unstructured play using natural items large and small, from branches and mud down to gumnuts and seashells. Our skilled rangers facilitate new and different ways of being creative and having adventures out in the bush. We’ll also be engaging children in a variety of group experiences such as storytelling, going on bush adventures together, campfires (in the cooler months) and craft using natural materials.

Carers in the bush

Nippers in Nature is for parents and carers too! Our rangers will advise and demonstrate our techniques for encouraging and managing child-led play and risk-taking.

  • Challenge and risk in the outdoor environment
  • What to say instead of “be careful!”
  • Encouraging creativity and problem-solving in independent play
  • Supervising and interacting in playtime without “helicoptering”

Bring your Keep Cup for your complimentary Fair Trade tea or coffee every week.

How it works

Nippers in Nature runs from 10-11.30am on Monday mornings, in terms of 5 weeks. Over each term, we’ll explore different topics within a certain theme.

It's best to book for a full term as we progress through our learning week-by-week. But you can attend individual sessions on a casual basis if you prefer.

Full term bookings - $67.50 per child and $42.50 per adult.

Single sessions - $14 per child and $9 per adult. Please pay by cash (exact change) or card (Visa or MasterCard) to the rangers when you arrive.

Term 1A, 2020: Storybook Adventures

This term we’re exploring the theme “Storybook Adventures”. Inspired by the fun and colourful tales by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, we’ll take a stroll through the Deep Dark Woods and see what creatures we might encounter on the way! We’ll see if our ingenuity and creativity will be enough to face challenges of all kinds!

3 February: The Gruffalo

10 February: The Snail and the Whale

17 February: The Gruffalo’s Child

24 February: Superworm

2 March: Our Very Own Adventure Story

Click here to book for the full term of "Storybook Adventures"

Term 1B: Nature Skills to Share

This term our theme is “Nature Skills to Share”. We’ll be learning some essential skills to help us become deeply immersed in nature and get so much more out of our experiences in the bush. More than just the technical side of finding our way around, this term it’s about taking time to slow down, look around us, notice the tiny details, and appreciate what we discover.

9 March: Seeing, hearing and noticing

16 March: Finding my way

23 March: Collecting interesting things

30 March: Helping when something goes wrong

6 April: Doing scary things… safely!

Click here to book for the full term of "Nature Skills to Share"

What to bring

All participants should come dressed for rugged outdoor play: closed shoes, hats and sunscreen, and a raincoat if it’s wet.

Please bring a snack and drink bottle for your child – ideally in a kid’s backpack so they can carry it themselves. There will be a snack break during the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Nippers in Nature run?

We have enclosed a special area of bushland for the exclusive use of our Nippers participants.

It is located in our education area which can be accessed via the Visitor Centre. Participants will receive directions to the Nature Play Space when they book.

What if it’s raining or really hot?

Nippers in Nature will proceed in most weather conditions. Please come prepared to be outdoors. We do have areas under shelter we can use if it’s really bad.

Can I bring a younger sibling to Nippers in Nature?

You can enrol a younger sibling if they are within the age range of 3-5 years. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children younger than this at Nippers in Nature (please see our Toddlers & Tadpoles Program for very young children). Small babies in a baby carrier are fine and we are happy to provide a comfy chair for breastfeeding. Our bushwalks are generally not stroller-friendly.

Where can I find out more information?

Call the Visitor Centre on 9424 0353 or email and we will be happy to help.

Important information

Children must be accompanied by an adult. One adult may supervise up to three children.

All children attending must be within the age range for the activity. This excludes small babies which may accompany a parent free of charge.

Most of our activities involve a bush walk on an unpaved track - wear appropriate walking shoes and bring a raincoat if wet!

Most Wildflower Garden activities will go ahead in all weather. If extreme weather conditions force the cancellation of the activity, booked participants will be notified by the ranger.

We do not refund if you cancel your booking. Refunds are only available if the Wildflower Garden cancels the activity.

If your child requires medication such as an inhaler or auto-injector, please notify the ranger and ensure you or your child carries the medication throughout the activity.

All activities within the Wildflower Garden have been risk assessed.