Get kids outdoors and exploring their environment using their five senses.

Learning outcomes

  • Go outdoors and use your five senses to experience familiar surroundings in a new way.
  • Make observations and find out more about a local natural place.

Activity instructions

Touch: Wash your hands in as many different textures as possible, eg grass, sand, mud, bark chips, leaf litter. Finish by washing in a bucket of water.

Hearing: Sit quietly and count on your fingers the different sounds you hear. Use one hand to count sounds made by people and the other nature sounds.

Sight: Make rainbow chips from broken crockery, tiles or painted wood and try to find things that match these colours of the rainbow.

Taste: Is anything in your playground edible? Is anything poisonous and should not be eaten? What would the children like to plant or cook so they can taste it?

Smell: Discuss how dogs have excellent smell and on hands and knees take a sniff trip around your playground. Make up a care code for plants in your grounds then encourage children to mix up smelly potions from found materials, sniff, describe and name their creations.

Activity developed by Davina Hunt, DOC.

Learning levels

  • Early childhood


  • Native animals
  • Forests and green spaces
  • Native plants
  • Pests and threats
  • Alpine
  • Marine and coastal
  • Estuaries
  • Freshwater
  • Historic places
  • Offshore islands
  • Wetlands

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Education for sustainability
  • English
  • Maths and statistics
  • The Arts
  • Geography
  • Health and PE
  • Technology


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