Activity Introduction

science-art-heroQuick summary: This activity is designed to get children into nature whether it is in the backyard, a local bushland reserve or a wild space. Younger children will experience nature through all their senses. Older children will explore various natural environments to gain a deeper understanding of nature and their connections to it. They also learn respect and care for all living things as nature play  assists children to understand the world around them.

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

EYLF Learning Outcome

Elaborations

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

Equipment needed:

  • A garden or yard, local bushland area or wild space (beach, forest, creek, or bush).
  • Clipboards,
  • Pencils / crayons (or other tool for mark making),
  • Paper bags or baskets,
  • Camera
  • A range of natural materials and loose parts (seed pods, bark, sand, soil, water, flowers, leaves, sticks, rocks, bark, herbs, etc).
  • Access to water, soil or sand (either outside or in containers).

Supporting resources:

Other resources:

 

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

planting-veggies-sustainability-heroBackground information

Content information for educators (also suitable for parents): There’s been lots of talk and media attention over the past few years about children being “disconnected from nature”. Some would argue that children, and all humans for that matter, are nature, and therefore cannot be disconnected. Regardless, it is important for children to spend as much time in nature as possible, given the limitless opportunities nature provides for children to maximise their developmental potential, and build the range of skills they will need to be the best they can be. 

Natures provides opportunities for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, communication and language skills, and lets them have fun while they do it. It has also been shown to reduce stress levels and support many aspects of physical and mental health.

Playing outside provides children with opportunities to engage with

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