Nature play

Watch a puddle become an ocean, a rock become a mountain and a stick become a magic wand. Nature play is only limited by your child's imagination - let them fuel it in the great outdoors.

COVID-19 update on parks and tracks

All parks and tracks are open under alert level 2.  To help keep everyone well, please continue to maintain a 2 metre distance from other people when you’re out and about and please wash your hands before and after using equipment in our parks and gardens.

The following are all open:

  • All parks and gardens
  • Public toilets
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks
  • Visitor and information centres
  • Dog parks
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Boat ramps and wharves
  • Cemeteries

Unite Against Covid-19, visit

Nature play challenge

Enjoy the great outdoors with your family by completing the nature play challenge activity sheet [PDF, 2 MB].

Check out the nature play parks map for some great locations where you can complete your challenge. 

Children learn through play. Childhood experiences with nature are important for determining life attitudes, knowledge and behaviours towards the environment. To understand and value nature, you need to experience it – and getting dirty is part of the fun.

Step beyond the playground and experience our parks at their natural best. Explore below to get ideas on how to encourage your children to explore our parks in different ways, allowing for fun and learning.

Read the Department of Conservation's report on the benefits of connecting children with nature [PDF, 802 KB].

Nature play kids

Our dirty dozen

12 things to do in nature and the best parks for doing them in.

autumn leaves thumb

Seasonal nature play

Suggestions for how to make the most of the seasons in our local and regional parks.

Caulfield Drainage Reserve play2

Nature play parks maps

There are lots of parks that are perfect for nature play - find your closest on this handy map.