Nature: the best learning tool
NATURE EXPLORERS Igniting Learning Naturally
CHILDREN are natural explorers. Set some basic boundaries, and let the child discover. The learning will come. Children use all of their senses to explore. They look and listen to observe what is happening around them, touch what they can reach, smell the fresh scents of nature, and occasionally taste when given permission. They run, jump, dig, and climb as they discover new places.
For a child, everything is new - even the tiniest things are interesting and exciting. In today's entertainment-driven world, exploring the outdoors is an opportunity for children to actively engage in learning. Here are a few places that you can take to guide children's exploration of the great outdoors:
Walk on water walking track
This short walk invites you to see beautiful bushland and mangroves while experiencing the Aboriginal cultural heritage that makes this area so special. Starting from Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, you'll follow a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and walking track through eucalypt forest, woodlands and swamp forests, before emerging among the diverse mangrove communities along Tweed River.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
The steel structures of the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk lets you explore the canopies of the pristine rainforest on Tamborine Mountain in south-eastern Queensland. As I was walking 30m above the ground, the 1.5km meandered intermittently through the canopy and rainforest floor I was surrounded by butterflies - so special.
The area at the headland has so many rock pools to search in to find marine fauna and flora plus several rocky outcrops to scramble up and over. And keep an eye out for whales in the surrounding oceans.
This is Australia's best known glow-worm viewing site. The natural bridge as also a waterfall that has eroded its way through harder surface deposits forming a natural cavern type appearance. The magic of this rainforest is rare, especially when you take into consideration the fact that Australia has lost three-quarters of the rainforests that once inhabited the nation.
Nature Explorers is an educational program at Pottsville Community Pre-school which aims to connect children with the environment, while creating a base of knowledge surrounding the importance of community, sustainability and life skills. The program is aligned with the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework.
*Today we introduce our new Nature Explorers column, which will run monthly in the Tweed Daily News. To find out more about this program, contact Nature Explorers co-ordinator Sofia Machado at firstname.lastname@example.org