The Educating Friends: BotaniKIDS, a 'growing' group of the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens 


Planting Ideas for Growing Minds


This group was established to support, encourage and resource the young (and their grown ups) to explore, enjoy, appreciate and learn in and about the Gardens.

The BotaniKIDS group utilises the natural beauty and cultural aspects of the Gardens precinct to provide an exciting engaging array of opportunities that enriches the experience and learning possibilities.

So what do we do?

Simple down to earth play, where we enjoy getting our hands dirty, collecting acorns, cones, leaves and sticks!
We so love sticks ... sometimes we even take a stick for a walk and draw with it in the gravel!  Sticks are good.



A great feature of our sessions is our nature craft where we make cool stuff from our collected treasures from our walks. The grown ups share a coffee and yummy home made cakes too.  We learn really interesting science with experts about water, fish algae and peer at tiny bugs that live in our Lake.

We love to go on tram rides with our friends in the Tramway Museum and often take visits into the Conservatory to see where special flowers live.


Key Features of our Programs

The Great Big Gardens Play Day on International Children’s Day In October where over 10000 children explored in nature play and quests.

Providing free family activities in partnership with the Ballarat City Council based on creative outdoor play during the Begonia Festival giving children experiences that can be further developed in their own backyards.

Regular sessions for the under fives in our Coffee and Cake mornings. The parents are treated to a homemade cake and coffee while their children are involved in book readings, songs, nature walks and crafts.

School Holiday programs with nature activities based on the four seasons.

Free Family Activity Kits available from the Conservatory for ideas to explore the Gardens. On request . Play tubs available .
Nature Quests pamphlet for families/schools/Kinders that visit the Gardens .

Teacher Education Program to raise ‘horticultural knowledge banks’within schools especially those establishing school gardens.such as our School a kitchen Garden program.

Bring Back the Christmas School Picnics in the Gardens!
Schools will be given the opportunity to book during the first week of December a Christmas Picnic time and the BotaniKIDS group will support with resources and an activity.


Enquires to  


Interesting Links


The Stick
"The stick is the world's oldest toy", National Toy Hall of Fame


Nature Play
"Why Nature's Play is Good for our Children!"


Connecting Children with Nature
"Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature"


Why our children need to get outside and engage with nature
"Why Playing in the Mud is More Than Just Fun" by Hyahno Moser 21 Feb 2015

Crazy about Trees Crossword


Copyright info:  Into The Clouds by Nicolai Heidlas Music
Creative Commons - Attribution 3.0 Unported - CC BY
Music promoted by Audio Library


View our Events/Activities & Book/Register on  Facebook

Check out our Facebook, Ballarat BotaniKIDS page for upcoming events, links, ideas, recipes and sharing.  You can view our activities, times and register/book on our FB page as well.   Like us please we are nearing 13000 likers! 
At all events children will need to be supervised fully by carers, parents or teachers. 


BotaniKIDS facebook for upcoming events and dates....



Activities to Download


Ballarat BotaniKIDS invite you to download....


Trees Please for under 5 quests

Tree Quest pdf here.
Come to the Gardens and enjoy....
  • Family Nature Quests
  • Holiday Activities
  • Play Days
  • Nature Playgroup
  • School Tours and Activities on request
  • Productive Garden Courses

Email us for more information 




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