Big Idea – Environment (Gunnedah Preschool)


 Activity Area Environment 


  • To build an awareness and appreciation of the natural environment.
  • To build an awareness of the usefulness of items from the natural environment.
  • To build an awareness of the concept of conservation.

You Need:

clipboards for each child, paper to fit the clipboards, crayons, pencils, camera, magnifying glasses, tape player or other sound recording device, bug catchers, baskets (to carry things home in) picnic style rugs, morning tea/water (or maybe lunch if going in the middle of winter) for everyone.


The children take a walk. This can be anywhere that has open space and trees. Discuss with the children beforehand where they would like to go, how they will get there, is it within walking distance, what they need to take/wear, how will they keep safe? If leaving the centre the children could go to a park, a reserve or along a nature strip. (Don’t forget excursion notes and all that is required for the NQF eg excursion risk management form, helpers, sun safety, water safety etc.)  If the centre has a nice big yard with trees you do not even need to leave the centre.

While walking follow the children’s interests as they observe nature around them. They may be interested in what falls off the trees and shrubs, autumn leaves, bark, sticks, seeds. They may be interested in what is on the plants eg flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, and lichen. Take photos, make rubbings of the different textures, talk about/feel items, have children draw items with as much detail as possible and collect items to take back.

Make a map of where you went and draw what you saw in each area on the map.

Spread the rugs and eat/drink together.

At the end of the walk collect some thick sticks- you could use them as walking sticks as you go home.

Follow up:


Cut sticks into short lengths, decorate with paint, spray on some lacquer and children have their own set of clap sticks.

Use nuts, seeds, bark etc in the sandpit, with water play, in collage or play doh.

Research items of interest eg how certain seeds germinate.

Germinate seeds and grow plants to put in the centre garden.

Put pictures and rubbings into a project folder or on a poster to display/share with other children/families.

Read dreamtime stories about local plants/animals.

Sing songs, play music eg bush sounds

Talk about the environment, conservation and sustainable use.

Learn about how Aboriginal people lived sustainably within the local environment.

Teaching Strategies:

  • Don’t forget the Marte Meo- “name” what each child is doing and follow their lead.
  • Reggio where the children choose, do the things they want to do, follow up on any interests which come out of the walk.