How does it work?

Piloted at Aldinga Beach SA, Our Big Backyard has now also been delivered at Christies Beach, and there are more projects in development around Adelaide.

Community members have told us that Our Big Backyard helped them to connect with nature, see it as something to be protected, connect with their children, and feel a part of their community. Our Big Backyard also helped people to feel more comfortable with their children playing outside.

Our Big Backyard is perfect for areas with new families from interstate and overseas, and provides the opportunity to engage them directly in what is unique and special about where they live.

It has also assisted schools and early learning centres to embrace nature, and influenced their decisions to choose local natural places as excursion destinations.

The project creates resources and activities tailored to each location including –

  • A play map of the area, with a list of things to do that are free, outdoors and based at significant local places
  • Detailed activity sheets for parents, which explain why the activity is important from a child development perspective and how to do it in the most fun, safe and environmentally responsible way.

Activities are all designed to be completed with little preparation and no extra resources beyond what you’ll find in nature.

Our Big Backyard has two parts, first a discovery process that explores what local people know and love. It can be done with conversations, mapping, surveys and gatherings of residents, experts, children, cultural groups and organisations. The learning and gathering is where your community comes together, shares stories and finds places and memories that may have been lost. Many of the best outcomes are linked to this process.

The second part is the collation, sharing and celebrating of what you’ve found out together. From this you can develop maps, guides and activities to help everyone to see and experience how special your local places are.

We’ve seen great things happen in our communities including

  • Increased connection to place
  • Strengthening local identity and pride
  • Engagement with local culture and environment

Our Big Backyard is for any community, and can be replicated, modified and personalised to suit their strengths and needs.

We’ve put together as many resources as possible to help groups through the development and implementation of a project including templates, artwork and a handy guide to help you through the steps.

The best bit is it’s all free to use. We hope your community loves it as much as we do.

If you’d like to find out more or talk to us about what we’ve learned along the way feel free to contact us.

The Big Backyard team