Yarra Valley Water


National Water Week

Explore Your Backyard this National Water Week!

Explore Your Backyard is an online learning festival celebrating and nurturing our connection to Country and water during National Water Week - 18-24 October 2021.

Join us for a range of activities for all ages including live webinars, on-demand workshops, tours, videos and resources to help grow your gardening skills, help you use water efficiently, and improve neighbourhood biodiversity.

Take a look at the activities and resources below and get involved!


Sunday 17 October at 4pm

Online Launch Event

Tune in to watch Costa the Garden Gnome in an exclusive live chat on Facebook.

View on Facebook

Wednesday 20 October at 12:30pm

Bee and Butterfly Encounter

Join Sam from Labcoat Learning for an up-close look at bees and butterflies! Learn why bees and butterflies are great for our gardens. Plus, find out about the importance of water for invertebrates and how you can help.

View on Facebook

Thursday 21 October at 12.30 pm

Sharing spaces – how you can help your local birds

Join Dr Holly Parsons from Birdlife Australia, and explore the wonderful world of birds. Holly is the Urban Bird Program Manager and will share tips on how to identify the birds that visit your backyard or nearby parkland. Holly also has useful ideas to help you provide habitat and resources for our feathered friends.

 Email [email protected] for further information.



On demand videos and resources sorted by theme:

We recommend teachers preview resources to ensure they are suitable for their group. Ensure children are adequately supervised when participating in these activities.

Traditional Owners – connection to land and water, Audience: Secondary & adult

Filmed at VicWater's 2021 conference, Rodney Carter and Rueben Berg speak about First Nation's cultural values in waterways. Rodney is a descendant of Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta people and Ruben is a proud Gunditjmara man from Melbourne. They offer suggestions that not only work to preserve our waterways but provide a broader perspective on how we can all keep working towards reconciliation.

View presentation

Creation of a Scar Tree, Audience: Secondary & adult

Join Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and Central Highland Water staff to see how a modern scar tree is created. (3 min video, on demand)

View Creation of a Scar Tree

Step outside with dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the Garden Gnome and discover the story of water, Audience: Primary

Are you ready to celebrate National Water Week? 

Check out their water week fun 

Grab fun activities and order your very own Water Watcher

The Water Watchers have arrived! They're here to remind all Earthlings about why it’s so important to save water and all the different ways you can do it.

Order your free Water Watcher to sit on your taps, view and hear their song and print some free downloadable activities now!

View more about Water Watchers 

Backyard water experiments, Audience: Primary & kindergarten with adult support

School and pre-school aged children will love these animated experiment videos with Wally the Water Scientist. Created by Goulburn Valley Water, each experiment is supported with a worksheet.

Wally & The Water Cycle: learn about the water cycle and how to make your own in a bag.

View videoDownload worksheet

Wally & Rain Gauges: learn what a rain gauge is and how to make your own. 

View videoDownload worksheet

Wally & Walking Water: learn how water moves and discover primary/secondary colours.

View videoDownload worksheet

Wally & The State of Water: did you know that water behaves differently when its temperature changes? 

View videoDownload worksheet

Waterwise Gardening, Audience: various age groups

Mulching your garden can save up to 70% of water from evaporating. Find out about different mulches and help your garden thrive in this 4-minute video from North East Water. Primary, secondary, adults

View video

Outdoor water use accounts for 25-50% of the average home’s water consumption. Gardens are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted. Visit Smart Approved WaterMark’s website to read about ways you can save water. Secondary & adult

Visit Smart Approved WaterMark's website

Nature study & nature play, Audience: Primary & kindergarten with adult support.

Nature study & nature play activity matrix: Build greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of the natural world! The matrix combines Bloom's Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligences to provide students with tasks that are accessible and appealing.

Download activity matrix

Backyard mini projects, Audience: mainly primary, some with adult help

The ins and outs of a bug hotel: Explore the benefits of insects in helping to pollinate plants, and learn how to make a bug hotel to encourage more insects into your garden. Barwon Water shows you how.  Primary with adult help, all ages. View video

How to plant native grasses and shrubs: Learn how to select and plant native and indigenous plants in your garden to improve the biodiversity of insects and native fauna that visit your patch. Primary. View video

Upcycle a jar into a rain gauge: A perfect rainy-day activity from East Gippsland Water. Make a rain gauge from a jar and measure how much rain you collect. View video

Providing Water for Wildlife: Healesville Sanctuary Vet Kath will show you the best way to leave water out for local wildlife during the summer months. More tips on helping wildlife in summer. Primary, all ages. View video

Water Wise Chatterbox: Download and print this origami chatterbox to help teach children about the importance of using water wisely!  Primary Download chatterbox

Caring for local waterways, Audience: various age groups

Going Green when we clean: Discover some simple recipes for cleaning products to use around the home. Many store-bought cleaners contain harsh chemicals, you'll also discover some of the impacts that these chemicals can have on the environment. Recipes available. All ages, children with adult help. View video

Willow control in our waterways: Find out the benefits in removing willows from our waterways. Secondary and adult. View Video

Growing indigenous plants around waterways and on cleared farmland improves raw water quality. Find out more in this short video made by Bass Coast Landcare Network & Westernport Water. Secondary and adult. View video

Storytime & Mindfulness, Audience: Primary

Take your device outside for a story or mindfulness activity (then see what outside play happens next!)  

The Rhythm of the Rain by Grahame Baker Smith: A beautifully illustrated story that ventures from home to another country and back again, describing the water cycle.  View video

Water Cycle yoga: Join yoga teacher, Victoria, on a journey through the water cycle. Made in Bendigo, this calming video helps tactile learners process and retain information about the water cycle. View video

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