8 Activities for Save the Koala Month

I have a confession to make. When I was ten years old I didn’t like koalas. Nope, not even a little bit. I thought they got all the attention and the platypus (my favourite animal at the time) was always left in their shadow.

Ironically, my first job was as a koala handler and my perception of them flipped almost instantly. They all had interesting personalities and their cuteness overwhelmed me. I was easily converted.

Now I wear a koala footprint necklace (almost) everywhere and talk passionately about saving the koala. So this post brings me to eight koala activities you can share with your children during Save the Koala Month in September. It’s about creating a connection between our children and koalas, about learning and understanding koalas and, most importantly, it’s about acting for koalas.

1.     Make a koala mask. Download this free koala mask here. All the instructions are included and children can start to act like the marsupial straight away.

2.     Learn to bellow like a koala. I love and loathe this post. I love it because I can’t believe children know how to moo like a cow, sssss like a snake and hoot like an owl yet they don’t know how to make a koala sound. Oh, and I loathe it because it’s a video tutorial with me teaching you how to bellow. Argh!

3.     Watch these cute koala You Tube clips with your children

 
 
 
 
4.     Teach others about the plight of the koala by making a koala conservation poster. This is a great idea for older children. Research the koala and get creative. Think of action messages you can use to educate your school and local community. Miss Possum is young so we made our poster quite simple. She is taking it to kindy today!

5.     Read koala books

  • Koala Lou by Mem Fox
  • Koala by Edana Eckart
  • The Koala: Natural History, Conservation and Management by Roger Martin, Kathrine Handasyde and Sue Simpson
  • Finding Home by Sandra Markle

6.     Make koala footprints and hang them around the house. Did you know that koalas have fingerprints? Use your fingerprints to decorate this koala hand and foot template. Why not hang them up around the house for Save the Koala Month?! You can see we used our footprints on the poster.

Press to download the printable

7.     Go for a bushwalk and search for koalas if they live in your local area. Put your hiking boots on and make sure you take your binoculars. Koala bottoms high up in the trees can be hard to spot. Look for signs of koalas too. E.g. Koala poo droppings, footprints and tree scratching.

8.     Act for koalas. Play is important but teaming it up with an action builds a more meaningful experience for a child. As parents, we can model acting for wildlife and our children can join us on our journey. You may even see your child take over your enthusiasm and start to be the driving force.

  • Raise money for the Australian Koala Foundation. You can ask your child how they could raise some money for Save the Koala Month. Could you get the school involved? Could your children donate a small portion of their pocket money? Go online and show your child where the money will go, how it helps koalas and why money is important to help save them.
  • Keep cats and dogs in at night time.  Koalas are nocturnal so keeping your pets in at night will reduce the risk of your dog or cat killing a koala.
  • Report sightings of koalas for research purposes
  • Keep remnant Eucalypt trees on your properties
  • Build koala-friendly fencing.
  • Write letters to the Australian government urging them to act for koalas by saving koala habitat. The Australian Koala Foundation has a good example letter here.

Why not spend the month doing these fun and worthwhile activities for Save the Koala Month. Not really fond of koalas? Meet one and you may just change your mind!

 

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Comments

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thank you so much for sharing Stephanie. Why are your family fans of koalas? Just curious. Do you see them in your backyard form time to time or do you just love them because they are adorable?

    • says

      We have always loved animals, but for some reason koalas stole my heart when I was younger and I passed it on to my kids! They are adorable and their “relaxed” mode of life makes us smile and laugh because it reminds us of our dogs!!! We are in the city so no koalas except at the wildlife parks…. Really love your site!

      • pawhitehouse says

        Thanks Stephanie! Glad to know that your are instilling that love of koalas in to your children. Yep, they are relaxed, that’s for sure. I love seeing the positions the get themselves into on a tree. They have such amazing balance!

  1. says

    I didn’t even know there was a save the Koala month. Thanks for letting us know.
    I have heard Koala’s bellow on Raymond Island in Victoria, and your bellow is incredible,.

    Another Koala book to add to your list Kyra the Koala from the Animal Tales series, written by Susan Hall and published by National Library of Australia. It is set during early settlement when early settlers knew very little about Australian animals. They confuses them with European animals they knew. In Kyra the Koala they learn what Koalas need for hydration.

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks Jackie. It took a fair bit of practise. I’ve been bellowing for over 8 years. I even had to do it to a group of wildlife educators the other day and they were very impressed. It’s my party trick :P.

      I will add that one to the list. I was quite disappointed that I didn’t find a stack of koala books. Why or why isn’t there more?

      • says

        I wonder if it’s for the same reason you didn’t like Koalas when you were a child. Maybe authors feel like they’ve already got enough ‘exposure’??????

        I don’t really know, but I’ve thought of another book.
        Riley and the Curious Koala by Tania McCartney. It’s not really ABOUT koalas as such but features one as a main character.

        …and Blinky Bill of course!

        • pawhitehouse says

          Great one. I will add these too. I have a picture book about a koala in my head (actually two) just ready to write. I just need to find the time!

  2. says

    Love, love these ideas…i am learning so much from your posts and how to incorporate wildlife activities into play for my girls…thankyou!!
    We have a few koalas around our property but they are hard to spot…the first time i heard them at night though they scared the life out of me lol!
    I’m going to print out those masks and give them a go with the twins….am pinning to the Co-Op board now….thanks for linking up!

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks so much Jode. I love hearing stories from families who see koalas on their property. Those stories are becoming more rare though. I hope the twins like the masks. Feel free to post them on the WF4K facebook page.

      Also Jode, would it be okay to use some of this comment as a quote on my media kit?

  3. says

    I have fond memories of meeting some koalas last year…all thanks to you :) Love that second video. You should’ve included your “How to Bellow like a Koala” video! x

    • pawhitehouse says

      I can’t believe I didn’t add it. Silly me.

      Next tiem you’re up you can have another squeeze if you like (I’m talking about me, I’m as cuddly as a koala). :)

  4. kirri says

    You didn’t like Koalas and then became a koala handler! That was supposed to happen :)
    I love your koala bellow – truly amazing and I doubt there are many people on the planet who can teach that. Another amazing blog, so rich in content.

    You’re doing important work here.

    • pawhitehouse says

      I know. It was meant to be wasn’t it. That happens to me a lot. The world likes to remind me to see things from different perspectives. :p

      Thanks for your beautiful comment Kirri. It went straight to my heart. xx

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