updated: 13 December 2021
Switch screen time for green time over the school holidays (and beyond) and plan how to connect kids to nature.
Citizen science projects
Keep the kids occupied while helping scientists! Here is a list of citizen science projects that you and your kids can contribute to. Some involve surveying biodiversity in your backyard, while others can be done entirely indoors.
Not sure what citizen science is?
Scistarter provides a great introductory video and web page which introduces the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of citizen science.
Online citizen science projects:
- DigiVol: Lets you go on a ‘virtual expedition’ helping scientists by identifying and tagging animals in wildlife photos.
- Virtual frogging experience: Check out the new Queensland Frog Society Inc. interactive educational tool which lets you explore the habitat of 11 SEQ frog species and find the frogs within them – from your desktop or smartphone.
- Western Shield Camera Watch: Discover the nightlife of the jarrah forest of Western Australia. Analyse camera trap images to manage introduced predators that threaten native wildlife in Western Australia.
Backyard/outdoor citizen science projects:
- Birdata: Collect and record bird data with BirdLife Australia’s Birdata to gain insight and protect Australia’s birds.
- Brush turkeys: App to help you observe and record behavioural information about the Australian Brush-turkey.
- ClimateWatch: Understand and contribute to climate change research from your home.
- eBird: Virtual birding around the world, quizzes and lots more on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen science app, Bird.
- EchidnaWatch: Wildlife Queensland’s EchidnaWatch program gathers information on the distribution and abundance of echidnas in Queensland.
- Faunawatch: A community-based program run by Wildlife Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Branch, the Faunawatch program collects and compiles sighting information submitted by community volunteers.
- FrogID: The Australian Museum’s FrogID helps you identify and record frog calls.
- Gecko Environment Council EcoDiscoverers Holiday Programs. Active, educational fun for the children to enjoy during school holidays.
- iNaturalist: Explore, record and share your observations of the natural world.
- IndigiScapes School Holiday Program.
- NatureMapr: A community-based citizen science platform to collect, manage and share species data.
- PlatypusWatch is a community-based program that aims to document where platypus occur so that we can develop a reliable ‘snapshot’ of platypus populations.
- Pollinator Link: A not-for-profit social enterprise helping communities create wildlife corridors for urban spaces. Check out Pollinator Link’s three easy steps to create your own pollinator garden and bring more birds, bees, and butterflies to your garden.
- QuestaGame: Help scientists keep track of biodiversity while playing a fun game outdoors.
- Quoll Seekers Network BioCollect Survey: Have you spotted a quoll in the Mary River Catchment, Qld? QSN is surveying to determine if either spotted-tailed quoll or northern quoll still inhabits the Mary River Catchment. Head to the Atlas of Living Australia BioCollect page to log details of quoll sightings in the area.
- Urban Wildlife App: A citizen science app, which lets you help monitor native wildlife in Australian cities.
Nature/wildlife programs & activities
- Brisbane City Council events & activities at environment centres. Participate in free and low-cost activities at Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, Downfall Creek Bushland Centre and Karawatha Forest Park and Discovery Centre these school holidays.
- City of Gold Coast’s NaturallyGC Program offers a range of free and low-cost nature-based events, activities and workshops across the Gold Coast.
- City of Ipswich Kids Go Wild Program offers a range of fun, free activities that encourage kids to get involved in our local environment and learn about ways to become more sustainable.
- City of Logan environmental events.
- For additional council-organised events, check your local council website.
- Connect with Nature. Qld Department of Environment and Science Connect with Nature inspires an appreciation of Queensland’s natural and cultural heritage through activities that foster a sense of connection, understanding and appreciation for natural areas. The program offers a wide range of activities for adults, children and families in parks and forests as well as other locations.
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary school holiday program. Attendees will participate in activities exclusive to the Wild Adventures school holiday program including enrichment feeding, behind the scenes access and up-close and personal animal encounters.
- Kingfisher Bay Junior Eco Rangers Program. Become a Junior Eco Ranger this school holidays. Kids of all ages love these interactive wildlife experiences that create a greater connection to the environment of Fraser Island.
- Gateway Visitor Centres Holiday Program The Gateway Visitor Centres of David Fleay Wildlife Park and Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre offer seasonal holiday programs during Queensland school holidays. Each program is packed with lots of fun nature-based activities about conservation and wildlife to help keep kids active and engaged during the school holidays.
- Junior Keepers at Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas. Kids can become Junior Keepers for a day and experience what it’s like to care for all sorts of animals from kangaroos to crocodiles.
- List of Australian Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Many have school holiday programs and activities.
- Living with Wildlife. Visit Wildlife Queensland Living with Wildlife page for some fun and wildlife-friendly activities, including How to build a nest box, How to build a frog hotel, and How to build a frog pond.
- Nature Play Queensland. Nature Play is a great opportunity for young children and their families to engage in nature and our beautiful Queensland environment, as well as learn practical life skills. Get your Nature Play QLD Passport for lots of secret missions for kids to complete outside; these are fun and mostly free!
Nature live from your living room!
Wildlife webcams of animals around Australia to watch from home.
- Australian Bird Webcam
- Feed Chickens from your Living Room
- Penguin Burrow Cam
- Reef Cam: Port Phillip Bay
- Tasmanian Wildlife at Cradle Mountain
- Zoos Victoria has set up live streams at some Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo enclosures
Nature and wildlife resources
Nature and wildlife colouring-in, puzzles, activity books
- Fun activities to do with your kids at home to learn more about wildlife (IFAW)
- Platypus puzzle and activity book: Download the activity book for some colouring-in, puzzles and more. Created by Wildlife Queensland platypus expert, Tamielle Brunt.
- Australia Zoo wildlife & nature activities for kids and families to do together at home.
Books, videos, photography
- ABC Radio School: Become a nature detective with Costa Georgiadis: Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis takes kids on a trip into the garden to become nature detectives!
- Aussie natural history photographers to follow (Australian Geographic).
- Back from the Brink – Richmond Birdwing (Natura Pacific): Video about the Department of Environment and Science Richmond birdwing butterfly captive breeding program.
- Explore Queensland Museum Network from home.
- Trawl through Australia’s natural history collections from your couch (Australian Geographic).
- Wildlife books & posters from the Wildlife Queensland online shop: Learn about Australia’s amazing wildlife with our range of wildlife books and posters.
- Wildlife Queensland Coastal Citizen Science: Find out about Wildlife Queensland’s projects in Moreton Bay.