The Bush Bus has rolled into town.
The free mobile nature playgroup is conducted in a relaxed and informal space where parents, carers, babies and children can come together in a friendly and inclusive environment.
Director Georgina Dymock started The Bush Bus in February after receiving a $200,000 grant from the state government’s Pick My Project initiative and gaining support from Mitchell Shire Council.
“The Bush Bus welcomes everyone with children aged from zero to six-years-old to play freely in a bush or park setting,” Georgina said.
“Children can climb, explore, dig, play in mud or puddles, build, engage their senses and make discoveries.
“They can also participate in programmed activities such as nature-inspired arts and crafts, water play and educational nature walks and talks to uncover the indigenous flora and fauna of their local area.”
With more than 500 families and 700 children in Mitchell Shire participating, and employing four staff, The Bush Bus operates in Seymour, Broadford, Kilmore, Wallan and Beveridge.
“The Bush Bus is the first free mobile playgroup in Australia that focuses on nature and the environment. It gets kids exploring the local landscapes and socialising with others,” Georgina said.
“It has also been great for new families. People who have just moved to town find it is a great way to meet other parents and get to know the area.”
“The Bush Bus has been a bigger success than we imagined. So much so that we needed more equipment than we anticipated.
“We are very lucky the Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford Community Bank branches of the Bendigo Bank were able to support us in purchasing additional easels, musical instruments, mats, sensory toys and building blocks.
“We are reliant on funding and community support to keep going, so I encourage parents, grandparents and carers of all kinds to bring their kids, get out in the fresh air and have some fun.”