Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This activity has been developed to give children the opportunity to investigate plants in more detail. Younger children explore a range of plants according to how they look, feel and smell. Older children begin to think about how the characteristics of the plants could influence the names they are given. They are asked to ‘rename’ plants according to their physical appearances and to invent their own plant based on what they have observed about plant features and characteristics.

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

Equipment needed: Plant materials – collect a range of different plant materials with different textures, shapes, colours and smells. Consider including leaves, nuts and seeds (sealing in a tub if small), flowers, roots, bark, etc. 

Supporting resources:

 Other resources:


Cool Australia Presents Biodiversity on Vimeo (


The team at Cool Australia continually reviews and refines our Early Learning resources in line with expert advice and current educational practices.


Teacher Worksheet

Background information

Plants come in all shapes and sizes, colours, textures and smells. As a general rule plants have roots (or tuber or bulb), trunks, branches and leaves. Most plants live in the soil; however there are some plants that live without soil (for example, algae and mistletoe).

All plants require food (nutrients and minerals), sunlight and water to survive. However, plants have adapted to a huge variety of environments and some can live with very little water (like in the desert), others can live with very little sunlight (like on the floor of a rainforest), and others can live in soils with very low amounts of nutrients (like in sand dunes at the beach). In order to survive in their specific environment, plants have evolved in a range of adaptations. This is why there are so many differences in the shape, colour and texture of the leaves, flowers and seeds and plants.

Concepts and definitions:

  • Plant life-cycle: All plants need to reproduce (otherwise they will go
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