Connecting to Nature in the ELC

Young children generally have an innate desire to explore the natural world. This curiosity helps them to learn about, and make connections with, the world around them.  

The children in our Early Learning Centre often spend time observing objects from nature and the natural world. Our philosophy places emphasis on the importance of nature and the children are provided with opportunities to learn about the natural world through our programs.  

The children regularly engage in investigations and research regarding the origins of trees, plants, natural items, and seasonal changes. Often, the children represent their interpretations through the ‘hundred languages.’ As children learn more about nature, they begin to understand, connect with, and respect the natural world. 

The current seasonal changes in the gardens around us provide the perfect catalyst for investigating nature. Which tree did this leaf come from? How did this pine cone grow? Why do the leaves fall off trees? How do flowers and vegetables grow?  

The children are currently engaging in learning in their classrooms in relation to these seasonal changes. Observations are made as the children walk around the gardens in our School and stop to take time to observe and discuss the new growth in the gardens. 

Our outdoor learning space in the ELC provides a myriad of opportunities for engaging with nature. Recently, the children have planted vegetable seedlings and they are currently nurturing the seedlings as they grow into plants. The plants, trees and natural elements in the playground also provide opportunities for exploring different textures and surfaces. The integration of water, sand and mud provides further learning opportunities about these natural elements. 

“If we really want children to thrive, we need to let their connection to nature nurture them.”
Claire Warden 

Ms Sarah Bethune

Head of Early Learning

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