An opportunity to gather and learn through exploration was the goal of Gwydir River Forest School held on the banks of the Gwydir just outside Bingara recently with the theme, Explore, Play, Camp, investigated by dozens of children.
Families from regional areas including Glenn Innes, Inverell and Tamworth were joined by families from as far away as the Hunter Valley and Albury for a day of learning through play. Many families chose to camp for a night or two to make the most of the riverside location.
Whilst nature presented a perfect day and playground for exploration there were several informal activities available including rock painting, playing with clay and making boats out of sticks. A bug-walk was coordinated, taking advantage of the generous season with groups not needing to venture far before finding a wide array of insects.
Coordinator Meaghan Stamer says the day provided a way to connect with other families that may otherwise be spread apart by distance. “It brings together the children and hopefully they learn some skills they don’t know. There is no screens and left to their own devices met and started to build together.”
“There are older kids taking younger one’s hands and helping and learning from each other,” she said.
Before the day was done there was already calls for the event to be held again, which given the support received may well go ahead in the future. “It was easy to set up and it’s good fun,” said Meaghan.