Exploring nature

Nautre play for preschoolers

Materials Required

  • clay
  • bark
  • leaves/branches
  • mud/sand/dirt/grass/bark
  • sticks
  • water
  • logs

Optional materials

bugs, camera, drawing or painting materials, ice, flowers, feathers, wool/string

Play experience profile

Play Experience Preparation

Ensure clothing is appropriate for weather - Take snacks if spending time in space away from home - Take basket or bag to collect found objects - If this is at home: use different natural materials to build or draw

Experience Steps

  1. Support children to explore nature, take photos of found objects.
  2. Invite them to listen, watch, feel, smell and observe different things going on around them.
  3. Dress according to weather.
  4. Research with them different unknown objects or wonderings - you could use digital technology to do this.

What to talk about, or questions to ask during the experience

  • Ask children/child to share discoveries. What have you found? Can you show me how you did that?
  • How do you think that got there?
  • What could you do with that?
  • How are you going to use that?
  • What do you think that might be?

Build on this...

  • Draw found creations
  • Fairy garden
  • Take photos of nature
  • Use clay with natural objects
  • Use string with natural objects or make houses using large sticks and trees

WHO guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Provide evidence-based public health recommendations for children, adolescents and adults on physical activity. Learn more

This encourages physical activity as children explore the outdoors.

EYLF Outcomes

The Early Years Learning Framework has been designed for use by early childhood educators working in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators. View PDF

  1. Children feel safe, secure, and supported
  2. Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
  3. Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

EYLF Principle

Principle 3: High expectations and equity. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement in learning.

EYLF Practice

Practice: Learning through play. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being.



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