Nature Play with Playdough

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After a long cold winter, we finally get some warm weather here in Melbourne. Perfect opportunity to play outside, enjoy the sun and explore nature. Nature activities for children helps foster respect for the world around them. Through exploration, they develop self confidence, creativity and problem solving skills. Early childhood is the time to plant the seed of wonder. Encourage them to be curious and imaginative and explore the endless and wondrous classroom that nature provides.

Recommended for children 18 months and over with close supervision due to chocking hazard.

Today, we went to Melbourne Botanical Gardens. Alex loves this place. He would wander around to explore the different shapes, colours and textures of plants, leaves and flowers. He would find some seeds and pods, collect them to investigate further. He would bring his collection of seeds, pinecones, pods and leaves home to play with. He picked some small flowers and place it in a flower pot at home. “These flowers died, mummy!” So we had a little discussion about plants and roots.

At home, I provide him with the opportunity to add some of our home made playdough to his collection of natural specimen. We place them on the lightbox to add different perspectives. At first, Alex was just making a small bouquet of leaves and pods. Then he counted the seeds and put it through a paper tube. He used the playdough to make a snake. “Mummy, I’m making Anaconda. This is mummy Anaconda and this is baby Anaconda. They cuddle together!” he said. He continues, “Anaconda eats the pinecones… hungry anaconda! The skin is rough, mummy!”

I think it is imperative to teach young children about nature and the environment. It helps create a future generation that loves and respect the environment. It can start with teaching a very young child to love the Earth before they can be asked to save it.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Put the playdough in the middle of the lightbox.
  2. Provide the loose materials on divided trays.
  3. Let the child explore and be creative!
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