Getting to know the great outdoors

The great outdoors is full of interesting natural materials waiting to be discovered. Exploring outdoor materials provides opportunities for children to learn to care for and respect their environment.

As children explore, they are building an understanding of the world around them. Providing a magnifying glass allows your child to observe the shape, colour, texture and pattern.

Talk to your child about what they can see and what they find.

Exploring science

As you talk, introduce scientific language (such as veins, stem, dead and alive). Encourage your child to ask questions like, why leaves change colour or where rocks some from, or ask them to try and imagine why these things happen. You can help show your child how to find answers by asking a relative or using the internet.

Discuss ways to respect the environment, such as collecting leaves on the ground rather than picking them, and walking on a path so you do not crush seedlings. Your child might want to collect some materials to take with them, which they can store in clear plastic containers or snap lock bags for easy access.

Another great way to get your child engaged in nature is to make a garden project or check out some tips at Nature Play.

Image Child wearing a hat investigates a garden bed up close with a magnifying glas

Published — 30 August 2016 Last updated — 04 November 2016