05 Jul 2022

Connect children to Laois nature during Cruinniú na nÓg 2021

Cruinniú na nÓg

Ricky Whelan, Irish Wildlife Trust working with children on the Triogue Manor Bug Hotel at Kids Wildlife in The People's Park, Portlaoise as part of Laois Heritage week.

Cruinniú na nÓg - Be Connected with Nature is part of the ‘Nature is Good for you’ campaign is a series of events for children and young people across the county.

The Local Authority Heritage Officer Network launched the ‘Nature is Good for you’ campaign to get people connected with nature, as part of the Government’s “Keep Well” Campaign.

Catherine Casey Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said, “Spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health and that is why we have put together a selection of events for this year’s Cruinniú na nÓg. These creative activities are all about doing, making and creating and I am delighted that, on Saturday, June 12, children and young people across Laois will have the opportunity to get back out into nature for a range of fun and engaging adventures.

Reconnect with Nature:

A series of nature activities for children and young people, ages 5-8 and 9-12 developed and designed by Barbara O’Sullivan from Reconnect with Nature.

These activities can be downloaded and used anywhere. They include a nature scavenger hunt and wildlife crafts with woodland mandalas, colours of nature bingo, recycled flower press and nature self-portrait. There’s no need to book these activities and they can be completed in your own time with no equipment or special skills required.

Find out more and download the activity sheets at

For The Birds

One of the many joys of summer is the wealth of bird song it brings to our ears. It can be very relaxing to listen to but telling which bird is which by sound alone can be tricky. To get you started, Ricky Whelan of BirdWatch Ireland will present this very special guide to Ireland’s best-loved songbirds for young people, all ages. This video guide will be available on Laois Heritage YouTube.

Have a look and then get outside and try it for yourself. Find out more at

In Your Nature Podcast

A special young person’s edition of the hit podcast ‘In Your Nature’ will be available to download on Sat, 12th June. With over 10,000 downloads to date, the podcast opens up the world of birds and biodiversity to its listeners. Featuring Niall Hatch and Ricky Whelan of BirdWatch Ireland, this podcast will be available to listen to via all major podcast providers. Find out more at

Celebrating creativity in Laois

With current restrictions again this year, the Cruinniú na nÓg programme has been predominately curated for online access and participation. The day is still about giving children and young people the opportunity to express themselves, explore their creative sides, be inspired, try something new and have lots of fun. For a range of workshops exploring the theme of ‘Sense of Place’, go to Dunamaise Arts Centre at to find our more, as well as entry details for Laois’s new art competition launched as part of Cruinniú na nÓg.

The Cruinniú na nÓg 2021 programme is at also at ie/events/location/laois. Keep in touch for updates and opportunities across our social media channels, @creativelaois.

Thanks to all involved in this year’s programme including Laois Arts Office, Heritage Office, Library Service, Music Generation Laois, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Abbeyleix Heritage House, Mountrath Youth Theatre, StrongWomen Science, Reconnect with Nature, Birdwatch Ireland, the Heritage Officer Programme and the Heritage Council.

Cruinniú na nÓg is a national day of free creativity for children and young people across Ireland. It is an initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and is presented in partnership with RTÉ and the Local Authorities.

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