Activity Introduction

fireQuick summary: This activity has been developed to give children the opportunity to learn more about energy through exploring temperature. Through inquiry, investigation and play, children investigate the differences in temperatures between different objects found in their centre. Younger children investigate how the sun heats objects and how ice and water respond to heat from the sun. Older children talk about how we can keep ourselves warm or cool, either by using electricity or by putting on or taking off clothes. They are then asked to identify where we use electricity in their centre.

This activity is designed to help connect children to the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning.

EYLF Learning Outcome


Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

3. Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Outcome 4: Children are involved and confident learners

1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

3. Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another

4. Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials


Equipment needed:

  • All ages – Arrange a sensory table with items that either feel warm or cold. You could include items such as glass, an aluminium can, cold water, warm water, paper, ice cubes, a plastic water bottle or tub. Consider putting some items in the fridge prior to the activity to cool them down further.
  • Ages – 0 to 2: Hot and cold labels.
  • Ages – 2 to 3: Hot and cold labels and Electricity labels.
  • Ages – 3 to 5: Playdough in at least two colours, Electricity labels.

Supporting resources:

  • Websites – Climate Kids – NASA
  • Collect items and images that are associated with the theme of hot and cold to use as conversation starters.

Other resources:

Cool Australia Presents Energy from Cool Australia on Vimeo.


Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the support of the Seedlings Early Years Education for Sustainability (EYEfS) program.





Teacher Worksheet

sunBackground information:

Content information: Energy is the lifeblood of our modern life. It gives us light and keeps our food fresh, it powers our industry, it fuels our cars, and charges our iPhones. Our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts. One of the most significant being the emission of greenhouse gases. A solution is a transition to clean energy sources. The brilliant thing is that we have huge amounts of free, renewable and clean supplies of natural energies like wind, sun and oceans. Another solution is to reduce the amount of energy we use on a day to day basis.

Concepts and definitions:

  • Energy - Scientists describe energy as the ability of a body or system to do work. Energy is all around us and is constantly changing. When you feel the warmth of the sun on your back you're enjoying the heat energy from the sun. When you cook over a campfire you're using heat energy converted from the stored energy
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