Quick summary: This activity is designed to get children connecting with nature; experiencing the health and developmental benefits of connecting with the earth and messy play. Younger children will experience sand, soil and mud through all their senses. Older children will explore and experiment with sand, soil, water and mud, investigating their various forms, states and uses.
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 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
1. Children become strong in their social and emotional well being
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 resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies, and natural and processed materials
Outcome 4: 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
Equipment needed: Soil, sand, water, a collection of natural loose parts (sticks, stones, seed pods, leaves, flowers, straw, etc), buckets, spades, watering cans, old cooking utensils (mixing bowls, spoons, plates, cups, muffin trays, cake tins, cookie cutters, etc), containers for mud brick moulds (e.g. take-away containers).
- Nature Time and Nature Play
- A Big Picture of Nature
- Natural vs Non-Natural
- Nature Craft
- Greener Spaces
- Enviroweek Wild Child
- Dirt makes you happy – http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm
- The Children and Nature Network – Research supporting Nature Play and Connection with Nature
- Nature Play WA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vAulkMldMM
- Messy Play: Creative arts therapy and child development part 3 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx_KLe8obwk
- International Mud Day – http://www.worldforumfoundation.org/working-groups/nature/international-mud-day/
- Cool Australia Biodiversity Toolbox
- Cool Australia Biodiversity video (see below)
Cool Australia Presents Biodiversity on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/77933476).
Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the support of the Seedlings Early Years Education for Sustainability (EYEfS) program.