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14 Dec 2018

Celebrating 10 years of growing Sydney kids!

Sydney’s oldest outdoor pre-school program recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Our Dandy Lions program has been encouraging kids to get hands-on with nature every Thursday since 2008.

Dandy Lions teaching nature play

Outdoor education is important for a child’s development from an early age. Studies show that playing outside with nature benefits children, not only physically, but helps to produce better results academically, socially and cognitively in the future.
Dandy Lions is educational, fun, specifically-designed activities for children under five and their caregivers. Since the beginning, more than 28,500 people have come through our metaphorical doors!
The first year of Dandy Lions

Dandy Lions was the first program at the Garden to be all about tactile, sensory, and imaginative play out-of-doors. It came about at a time that parents and caregivers were more risk adverse than earlier generations - but the kids had no boundaries - so it was as much about encouraging the parents as the children.

Celebrating 10 years - with cake!

We celebrated this special milestone with a very special 'Happy Birthday' Dandy Lions cake! Children made birthday decorations using natural materials such as rose petals and leaves, decorated and ate cupcakes, and sang birthday songs and played birthday games.

Making birthday decorations with natural materials

The pre-schoolers also made a special visit to the Yellowwood Garden to harvest the vegetables they planted a few months ago - an activity that has been at the heart of Dandy Lions since the beginning. 

Planting, tending and harvesting teaches patience, reward from effort, and to notice nature and the seasons, all of which is just as important in our busy lives as it was ten years ago. 

Planting, tending, and harvesting at Dandy Lions

Still growing strong

Our weekly sessions continue to have plenty of sensory free play around the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, helping to connect toddlers with the physical world around them.

Each Thursday you can join our expert pre-school educators and learn about a new natural theme. Gardening, craft, interactive story time and singing, and playtime in the Garden are all a part of Dandy Lions. We run active, hands-on programmes that encourage children to investigate the fascinating natural world and learn to value it. Find out more and book in here.

Dandy Lions is for pre-schoolers and caregivers alike


Check out these little lions having autumn fun:


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