Activity Introduction

cc-early6-heroQuick summary: Children explore the yard at their centre and the features present in their yards. Younger children will look for natural features and identify their favourite parts of the yard. Older children will use a map to navigate a path through the yard, adding more features to the map as they go. Finally they will create their own map showing the features important or interesting to them.

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

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for children to reap the benefits of being outdoors while meeting the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, children are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.


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

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

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

1. Children interact verbally and non verbally with others for a range of purposes

3. Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

 Resources required:

  • Older children – A hand drawn map of the yard at your centre showing major features such as locations of buildings, trees, paths, play equipment and other features. Leave off smaller features (children can add these later). In lead pencil mark a path on the map that you can follow with your children.

Supporting resources:

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

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


Teacher Worksheet

cc-early1-heroBackground information

Outdoor learning information: There’s been a lot of recent talk about children being “disconnected from nature” (although some would argue that children, and all humans for that matter, are nature, and therefore cannot be disconnected). That is why 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.

Being outside provides children with opportunities to engage with their environment and to understand that they are part of na

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