Friday, November 11, 2011

Cubs, Wildflowers, and The List

I volunteered to do a sunset wildflower walk with around 50 cubs on Monday - my daughter joined our local group about a year ago.  First I went and checked out the site, it's a great year for wildflowers, and they were in abundance.  Then I started wondering how I was going to point things out, and engage 50 kids and their accompanying volunteers. The bush is a big space and kids like to roam and wander - a worthwhile activity in itself but not exactly the evenings objective.

Then I had the small genius of giving them a little list, and telling them to be bush detectives. There were no accompanying pictures.

The list
Trigger Plant
Yam Daisy
Milk Maids
Purple Flax Lily
Happy Wanderer
Blue Bells
Gum nuts
Spider web
Chocolate Lily
Wattle Mat Rush
Wallaby Grass
Cherry Ballart

Those little bits of paper worked! The kids really got into marking everything off and wanted to know what everything was. So they were asking questions of me rather than me trying to convey information to a moving crowd. They had no pencils but were folding or punching a hole by the name with a stick. I had no idea how determined they would become - Wallaby Grass of all things proved evasive until we found some right outside the scout Hall. They really tested my plant identification skills! On the list were a few easy things to make the task achievable, a few things kids might know, and then some things most children wouldn't recognise.  By the end the kids were pointing at things and telling me the names, and the adults seemed to really enjoy the flower hunt too.  It really stopped the group from surging forward in a hurry. The only thing I would change, would be to add a few more things to the list, as some kids were a bit disappointed when they found something new and it wasn't there to tick off.  By the end of the day I felt like I'd achieved the Scout motto -

For more great ideas of things to do with kids visit


  1. Well handled! You are a brave woman!

  2. Wonderful job! My husband is from Western Australia. I was lucky enough to visit your beautiful land a few years back. Thanks also for the lovely comment that you left on my blog. :)

  3. How creative. You should be a paid child educator.

  4. Fantastic. Sounds like everyone had a great time. Well done.

  5. Aw thanks mum, some paid work this week, very novel!


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young