Zoe Locke dreamed of a place where kids of all ages could squish mud in their hands, climb trees and create nature-inspired crafts. And she’s done all that and more with Twig & Stick Children’s Nature Club.
As an educator and mother, Zoe Locke knows how important it is for a child’s development to be outside and interacting with the natural environment.
Combining her lifelong passion for gardening, arts and crafts and being active, the Adelaide Hills mum created Twig & Stick Children’s Nature Club.
Whether it’s a workshop, excursion or ‘drop and go’, the magnificent outdoor Twig and Stick setting at the Stirling Old School Community Garden allows children to explore with the backdrop of mother nature’s playlist of chirping birds and buzzing bees. Plus a koala or two occasionally sounding off in the trees.
Twig & Stick offers a magical place for children to play and create beautiful memories that last a lifetime. They have access to the wonderful vegetable and butterfly gardens, sandpit, cubby houses, mud pit and climbing hill. The diverse staff range from artists, English and dance teachers, a rock climbing instructor, a tour guide, eco warriors and parents.
This amazing kid-friendly activity is featured in “Top 57 ‘Things To Do’ With Kids in Adelaide School Holidays“.
Twig and Stick offers:
Excursions and incursions
Drop and Go holiday program in Stirling
Patch Kitchen and Garden summer kids club
Workshops for educators
Don’t worry big people, there’s a plus one for you too. This year Twig & Stick will be introducing adult workshops at Woorabinda Reserve and The Old School Community Garden in Stirling. Think tea (or wine) and cheese over wood whittling, basket weaving, clay creations and screen-printing while the kids play.
Twig and Stick director Zoe Locke to give us the lowdown on what to expect…
What do children get out of nature play that traditional classroom learning or screen time can’t teach them?
Freedom to be children, to explore and connect with nature and a chance to burn off energy, balance their emotions, engage in social play, form new friendships, challenge their bodies, build courage and take risks. Playing in nature ignites children’s imagination and allows cognitive, emotional, social and physical development to blossom in such amazing ways. This is what our children need to become happy, balanced, creative, wonderful beings.
Did you have an active childhood?
My childhood was all about being outdoors. I grew up in the Adelaide Hills and on the plains and my days would be filled with exploring. I would ride my horses, ride my pee wee 50 motorbike, take the dingy out on the dam, run under the huge irrigation sprinkler on the farm. The experiences and risks I took as a child were out of this world, but I survived and want nothing more than my son to have the same experiences.
What inspired Twig & Stick?
It stemmed from the Adelaide Hills Outdoor Playgroup, which I created four years ago, based at The Old School Community Garden in Stirling. I wanted my son to be exposed to the outdoors from as young as possible and to meet like-minded folk from the hills and build a community around us, as we were new to the area. It was a huge success for the local community and has become a wonderfully welcoming space for hundreds of children and families.
Tell us a bit about the feedback you have had from kids themselves?
Children who attend Twig & Stick events are always so thrilled to create wonderful pieces of art and to explore new skills and nature. They are always eager to come back over and over again. I recently received an email from a parent saying her son had put all his creations in his garden and was so proud of his whittled sticks. Seeing the joy and confidence grow when they attend is something parents notice and comment on frequently. It makes me so very proud and happy.
TWIG AND STICK CHILDREN’S NATURE CLUB