08 March 2015

Wild fun for kids during the March school holidays!

Exciting nature activities specially for kids are lined up for the coming school holidays! Lots of fun ways to discover and enjoy Singapore's biodiversity!
Activities include night walk at Pulau Ubin, night walk at Pasir Ris mangroves. Walks at Chek Jawa boardwalk, Pulau Ubin kampung, the new Sungei Buloh extension, Lower Peirce Reservoir, MacRitchie forest, Bishan Riverplains. Walks to learn about our monkeys, about traditional prawn farming, butterflies, birds. Also art workshop, nature drama workshop, nature camps. Most are free but registration is required so sign up now!

Free events!

14 Mar (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. For families and kids. Registration required.

14 Mar (Sat): What's in my mangroves?
Mangrove forests are living borders of the freshwater and salt water. Out of 73 true mangroves species worldwide, 22 can be found in Sungei Buloh. Join us for a lovely morning walk and get to know the mangrove trees and plants of Sungei Buloh. Registration required.

14 Mar (Sat): A walk with your neighbours - the macaques of Macritchie
The long-tailed macaques are the most conspicuous animals at Macritchie Reservoir Park. Although commonly seen, they are very misunderstood. Few seeing them realise anything about the social world these monkeys live in. They have kin networks, power struggles, friends, foes, and an otherwise complex social network. In many ways, they provide a mirror of our own sociality. Suitable for adults and children above 8 years. Registration required.

14 Mar (Sat): I heART Nature Workshop
This interactive free parent-child bonding session includes interesting art and craft activities and a short nature appreciation walk. For children ages 5 to 7. Child must be accompanied by 1 parent. Registration required.

14 Mar (Sat): Prawn and Fish Harvesting Demo at Sungei Buloh
Once again we bring you 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. Registration required.

19 Mar (Thu): Nature Keeper Programme
Designed to stimulate the interest of the young and inculcate in them an appreciation of our forests, the Nature Keeper Programme Workshop will be carried out at the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves. Beyond the workshops, the programme also aims to nurture young volunteers in active protection and conservation of our natural heritage. Suitable for children 7 - 11 years old (Primary 1 to 5). Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): Birdwatching at the Southern Ridges
Join us for this free birdwatching tour at the Southern Ridges, where up to 43 species of birds have been spotted so far. Volunteer guides from STMicroelectronics will take you through the Forest Walk and the Singing Forest in search of these beautiful birds. Do bring along a pair of binoculars or a camera with a zoom function for a better experience. Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): Ecolife by the Riverplains
Ecolife is a free two-hour tour which introduces the park and the biodiversity found in Riverplains through the use of interactive exploration themes and activities. The tour aims to encourage family bonding between parents and child through the process of learning together. Join us as we take you through this tour with worksheets provided and fun hands on activities such as doing up your very own underwater viewing scope. Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): Pulau Ubin Kampong Tour Guided Walk
Take a walk with us to experience Ubin's wonderful natural and cultural heritage. The walk takes about 2 hour to complete. The tour will start at the Ubin-HSBC Volunteer Hub and take you through the spice trees around Jelutong campsite, Butterfly Hill, Pekan Quarry, Sensory Trail Ponds, Kampong House, Old Bin Kiang School site, Toa Pek Kong Temple and end at the Wayang Stage. You will hear about the use of spices in cooking and the interesting history of the different sites. Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): What's in my sky?
Birdwatchers, join us in this free guided walk and learn to identify many amazing birds of different species that passes through or make Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve their home. Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): Love MacRitchie walk with the Toddycats
Join enthusiastic volunteer guides who will share with you stories about the amazing plants and animals living in our precious forest heritage at Venus Loop. Registration required.

22 Mar (Sun): Nature Trail Walk with the BES Drongos
Come on an invigorating walk along the Petai Trail! Learn more about nature spaces in Singapore and the biodiversity found in our physical landscape of the secondary forest at Macritchie Reservoir Park. Registration required.

Other events

14 Mar (Sat): Young Naturalist Camp at Sungei Buloh
This one day camp encompasses a series of fun-filled and educational indoor and outdoor learning of the wetlands and nature conservation issues through worksheets, nature walks and hands-on activities. Limited to 40 children between the age of 7 to 12 years old. Registration required. Registration fee: $5 (inclusive of materials, 2 tea breaks and 1 lunch)

14 Mar (Sat): World of Flowers Trail for kids
In tandem with the 'World of Flowers' Exhibition at the CDL Gallery, this guided tour invites participants to take a closer look at parts of a flower and understand their forms and functions. Enter into a world of colours and let the mysterious roles of flowers unfold before you! Suitable for children in K1 - P6 levels. Registration required. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult. Make payment on the spot on the event date itself.

15 Mar (Sun): Pulau Ubin evening to night critter walk for kids
With Cicada Tree Eco Place! Night time on Ubin is magical. The stars shine bright here away from our urban light pollution. The air here is perfumed by night flowering trees and wildflowers. We will visit the vegetable and herb garden at dusk and walk the quiet roads as it gets dark. We then visit the nearby ponds to look for frogs and Swamp Eels. Ubin’s active-at-night wild critters that we hope to bump into include the Palm Civet, Spotted Wood-owl and Wild Pigs. The guide’s spotlight may pick out sleeping snakes all coiled up on branches. Greater Mousedeers live in the forests here but they are very shy animals! We will pop by the scorpions’ hide-out in the bamboo grove. This walk at night will only be on the level main road and we will not be going off-trail into the forest. $13 per participant. Free only for participants’ kids/siblings aged 5 yrs and below. Cost excludes the bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin at $2.50 per person one way. Registration required.

16 Mar (Mon): Waterside Forest walk at Lower Peirce Reservoir for kids
With Cicada Tree Eco Place! Our priceless Central Catchment Nature Reserve is still home to many native wildlife, most already gone extinct in other parts of de-forested, highly developed Singapore where they once lived. Here live pangolin, mousedeer, colugo and wild pig. Also Gold-ringed Catsnake, Black-bearded Flying Dragon, Banded Woodpecker and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. At water’s edge, jewel-like dragon and damsel flies flit about. White-bellied Fish-eagles hunt over the reservoir. The orange Four-ridged Toad calls at the forest stream and we may spot the well-camouflaged Copper-cheeked Frog on a leaf. Both depending on an unpolluted source of water for their tadpoles. Yes, we still have so much wild nature so close to the city. $13 per participant. Participants' kids/siblings aged 5 yrs and below come along free. Registration required.

18 Mar (Wed): Mangrove Forest Walk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for kids
With Cicada Tree Eco Place! This very important Nature Reserve is a wildlife wonderland. Here many kinds of living things can easily be observed and studied in their natural homes in the wild. The mangrove and coastal forest habitats here are homes to an incredible diversity of birds, reptiles, mammals, fishes, insects and many other unique life forms, all quite easily encountered. The amazing Mangrove forest is the main ecosystem in this reserve, home to cute mudskippers, monitor lizards and tree-climbing crabs. Across the Straits of Johor, we must look out for the Osprey, a majestic fishing eagle, who is usually found perched on the kelong poles. $13 per participant. Participants' kids/siblings aged 5 yrs and below come along free. Registration required.

18 Mar (Wed): "Grow With Nature" A Magic Tree - A Drama Workshop for kids
Through nature, we can learn and grow in character. The rich biodiversity in nature makes it a good teaching tool to develop children’s character through dramatisation. Children will be encouraged to care for nature and to be aware of its biodiversity. In this workshop, learn the importance of having good manners. Suitable for children in K1 – P6 levels. $10 per child. Registration required.

19 Mar (Thu): 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 – P6 levels. $8.50 per child (includes $2.50 "Adventure with Plants, Sara at the Evolution Garden" workbook) and $6 per accompanying adult. Registration required.

20 Mar (Fri): Nite Critter Watch at Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk for kids
With Cicada Tree Eco Place! We explore deep into the mangrove forest via the extensive boardwalks to look for other nocturnal critters such as the Dog-faced Watersnake, Crab-eating Watersnake and Black-crowned Night-heron. Tree-climbing crabs may be seen perched high above on branches, as if they're birds. Several species of owls have been encountered here, plus the Large-tailed Nightjar. Fireflies live in this forest. Though only seasonally numerous, we should meet some. Other exciting critters met here include the Reticulated Python, Palm Civet and Mangrove Flatworm. $13 per pax (adult or kid). Free for kids aged 5 yrs and below accompanying adult participants. Registration required.

Did you know that close to 25 species of butterflies reside in HortPark's Butterfly Garden? Come observe them and their caterpillars in their natural habitat! Learn what they love to eat, and why they are beneficial to our environment. Join us on this special guided walk for kids from 5-12 years old and get to know our native butterflies. Cost: $25 per child. Registration required.

21 Mar (Sat): Let's Learn About Butterflies and Moths!
Join us on this talk and tour to learn about these winged beauties! Discover the similarities and differences between moths and butterflies and how to look for some of their caterpillars. Learn about their life cycles, their friends and foes, their habits and the plants they depend on! Get up close and personal with some caterpillars and hopefully butterflies as you observe them in nature! Suitable for children in K1 – P6 levels. $9 per child (includes $2.50 "Adventure with Plants, Sara at the Evolution Garden" workbook) and $9 per accompanying adult. Registration required.

Go wild on your own!

You can also explore on your own! Check out the many DIY Trail Guideson 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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