Activity Introduction

cc-early12-heroQuick summary: Children explore the features of natural objects by sorting them according to their different characteristics (such as weight, size, colour and texture). Younger children then create a collage using these natural objects, while older children experiment with making patterns using these natural objects as stamps in either play-doh or paint.

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.

We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.


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

4. Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work


Resources required:

  • A range of natural objects with different textures, shapes, colours and smells. Consider including leaves, nuts and seeds (sealing in a tub if small), flowers, roots, feathers, stones, pieces of wood, shells etc. Camera (optional).
  • Younger children – cardboard and glue for creating a collage.
  • Older children – play-oh or paint and paper.

Supporting resources:

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

Youngman Trust Logo

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


Teacher Worksheet

cc-early5-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.

Nature 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 nat

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