Do your children love being outdoors and exploring all that nature has to offer? Do they enjoy climbing trees and jumping in puddles? Do you ever wish there were a local outdoor play program for your children to participate in? Well the secrets out. It’s TimberNook Newcastle, a place I recently visited to check it out.
Hidden amongst the trees in Garden Suburb is a nature program called TimberNook. Located on 6 acres of Awabakal land, TimberNook provides meaningful outdoor play opportunities for children of all abilities and ages.
TimberNook is an award-winning nature-based program that originated in New Hampshire, United States and there are now many locations all over the world.
Aiming to ‘inspire creative play at home’, TimberNook programs provide children with time and space to just PLAY. The TimberNook experience offers “the ultimate sensory experience for children, challenging the mind and body”.
As they engage in all that the programs and environment have to offer, they are provided with many amazing benefits and learning opportunities.
The Newcastle TimberNook program is managed by an Early Childhood consultancy company called Inspired EC. The location itself is just magical, with creeks, waterfalls, macadamia trees, recycled pallet forts, tyre swings, loose-parts, a mud-kitchen, tunnels, balance boards, a campfire, and plenty of trees to climb, hills to roll down and space to run around.
TimberNook programs currently operating at the Newcastle location are either independent or parent-supervised depending on age.
Current programs include:
- Tiny Ones (1-4 years) – a 2-hour parent supervised program currently operating on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. A full-term cost $120 or you can attend a casual visit for just $15.
- Nature Kindy (3-6 years), a 6-hour drop-off program currently operating on Wednesdays, costing $70 per visit.
- School holiday programs (school-age children), a 6-hour drop-off program operating daily throughout all school holidays.
As I have two little ones, we attended the Tiny Ones program for a casual visit. We spent the morning swinging on tyre swings, climbing pallet forts, splashing in muddy puddles, cooking in the mud kitchen, banging pots and pans, crawling in the grass and through tunnels, balancing on logs, listening to the thunder and stories by the campfire, and exploring nature in the stormy rainy weather… It was wet, it was muddy, it was extremely messy, and it was amazing!
If you don’t like to get messy or avoid letting your children engage in risky play, you can drop them off, close your eyes and let kids be kids. Or maybe you love the thought of muddy hands, climbing great heights and swinging through trees, then this is definitely the place for you.
TimberNook Newcastle, what a magical place. Check it out now and come and play the TimberNook way!
Address: 71 Prospect Road, Garden Suburb (Yamuloong Indigenous Cultural Centre)
Ideal Age: Birth to upper primary play programs
Public Toilets: There is 1 portable toilet located on-site
Water Fountain: No
Picnic Facilities: Yes, grass only
Nearby Cafe: No
Website: TimberNook Newcastle
Bianca grew up in Newcastle and loves everything about this wonderful city. A mum of two under 2 1/2, she cherishes the crazy and challenging, yet beautiful days that she gets to share with her children. On her days off she enjoys exploring new places together and creating fun and engaging play experiences, which she shares on her instagram account @mila.and.micah. When Bianca isn’t being Mum to her two, she is busy managing a local community-based childcare centre. She has 10 years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher and Director, and is passionate about play-based learning for the early years.