Welcome to the Teach Out Toolkit


This is your passport to outdoor learning and adventure. Take it with you as you explore the magic of your natural environment and enjoy lessons in the outdoors. Don’t forget to put your details on the first page!



Nature Play SA has created this resource to support teachers and students with a series of outdoor learning lessons and missions. We hope that you use the ideas presented as provocations and inspiration and adapt them to suit the age, stage and learning needs of the children in your care.


Download your Outdoor Learning Passport Here


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There are a few things that can be done to make life that bit easier when teaching outdoors.


1 Establish expectations and routines, just as you do with indoor learning

2 Have resources on hand to support a range of experiences




A great resource to get started has been provided by Outdoor Classroom Day, with a comprehensive step-by-step guide to establishing routines and more from Juliet Robertson. This resource provides a one-stop shop for taking the first steps. Click on the thumbnail to download.




We have developed our own ‘Outdoor Learning Kit‘ inventory to download. Use this as a springboard to develop your own kit.




It is important to have an understanding of how nature play and nature pedagogy links to the curriculum and where these natural links might be. There are many online resources to support. Here are a few to get you started.



Early Years Learning Framework


The Association of Independent Schools of WA have provided a selection of Nature Play and Nature Pedagogy links to The Early Years Learning Framework. Available here *

Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum provides resources and curriculum connections that support and advocate for Outdoor Learning as a pedagogical approach. These are great to have on hand, with a clear framework and language to support learning within four dimensions of Outdoor Learning. Download here


Year 1 and 2

Year 3 and 4  

Year 5 and 6  

Year 7 and 8  





A practical and powerful way to begin learning about the Aboriginal culture of your land’s Traditional Owners is to learn some of their ancient languages.


One of the best resources around for early learning and primary students – https://50words.online


ABC Education has introduced a new character to Play School – Kiya.

“Kiya is from Noongar country, in the southern corner of Western Australia.

Kiya’s first Play School appearance is in the Acknowledgement of Country Special and she will be included in upcoming episodes along with the rest of our Play School favourites.”

Download the ABC Education Acknowledgement of Country  educator notes here 

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A sit spot is a favourite place in nature you visit regularly to quietly sit, listen and look at plants, birds, trees and animals. 


Establishing a sit spot routine and spending a small amount of time outdoors on a regular basis, will introduce students to the idea that there are many different ways to connect with their natural environment. It will allow for conversations about noticing, slowing down, being calm and ‘doing a lot whilst seemingly doing nothing.’



Download the Nature Play SA guide to sit spots and nature connection here 



More about sit spots



WATCH – Muddy Puddles and Painted Sunsets 

A short film by Nature Play SA exploring children’s connection to the natural world and the many opportunities for exploration and adventure within it. This might provide a stimulus for conversation and reflection with students of all ages.




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Stepping out is all about taking the small, but significant step to embracing learning outside the classroom. Lessons can be as structured or as open-ended as necessary; often more structure to begin with steadily leads to more student-led inquiry once everyone develops their ‘outdoor learning legs’..which is the beauty of outdoor learning.



Getting Going with Outdoor Learning has the structure you need to begin teaching outdoors. For more great ideas, check out Juliet Robertson’s books Messy Maths and Dirty Teaching.




Read about the risks and benefits of learning outdoors using our guide.


Take a look at this resource database, provided by Outdoor Classroom Day to find ideas and inspiration for curriculum-linked outdoor learning.


Listen to Juliet Robertson discuss “A Yearning For Learning” on this episode of Pivotal Podcast.

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There are many ways that leaves can be used for creative arts, imaginative play, maths and literacy.


As seasons change, the colours of nature afford us unique opportunities to experiment with colour, texture, smell and taste.


Leaves can be used to create Andy Goldsworthy inspired art, to press into pages of a book for future study, to crunch and crush whilst exploring texture and smell, to rub under paper or cloth for printing and to springboard into mathematical concepts of symmetry, shape and patterning.




For more ideas, check out this Learning and Playing with Leaves resource created by Nature Play QLD.


Watch this short video featuring children’s examples of Andy Goldsworthy inspired art.

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The ‘Go Wild with Nature Play SA’ digital resource pack, contains a series of nature and wild space lessons, activities and inspiration cards to print off and use at school and home.


There are six lenses to outdoor exploration using the Go Wild challenge cards.

  • Exploring sense in nature
  • Noticing nature
  • Finding nature
  • Creating nature inspired art
  • Spending time in nature
  • Spend time in natural settings



What would it feel like to take learning outside and do something wild every day?

What might your class investigate, explore and create?

How might these experiences be shared, reflected upon and harnessed as multidisciplinary learning opportunities?


An introduction to nature journaling 

Record the day / time / weather / wind

Sketch what you can see around you – up close and far away.

Sketch what you can see in the sky and down at the ground.

Draw flowers and trees that you can see. Can you copy their shape?

Draw, trace or rub over leaves that you find.

Can you see any wildlife around? Record what they are doing

Make a prediction: what do you think will happen in this space in the coming weeks or months?



More about nature journaling


Mental Health and Wellbeing

We know that engaging with nature is good for our brains and good for our bodies. It calms our minds and ignites our senses. We also know that it takes time to create new habits, routines and rituals. These fun, engaging and simple challenges, might just create the healthiest new habit for you and your class!


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Sticks are open-ended elements that encourage children to be creative, imaginative, and exist in worlds where they have full control. They can be an inventor, creator, director, engineer or scientist. What does a child imagine when they have a stick in their hands and what stories will they create if we allow them?



Before exploring the world of sticks, discuss with your children how they should and shouldn’t be used. By forming a mutual stick agreement you can empower students to govern their play and ensure they are aware of how to keep their play environment, and the children within it, as safe as necessary. The agreement can also include how large sticks are carried and how to be respectful of the natural environment when sourcing sticks.


Suggestions for safe and constructive stick play include;

  • Walk when carrying a stick
  • Always have one end in hand and the other pointing to the ground
  • Carry large sticks with one end in hand and the other end on the ground behind you
  • Never point a stick
  • Sticks are used for constructive and not destructive play





Take a look at own very own 50 things to do with a stick for more inspiration.


Nature Play SA – 50 things to do with a stick EARLY YEARS


Nature Play SA – 50 things to do with a stick PRIMARY YEARS

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Loose parts are open-ended materials such as boxes, crates, sheets, pipes, log rounds, buckets, blocks and rocks that children can adapt, move, design and transform in many different ways. They can be moved, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.

Learn more about loose parts from the hand picked and home grown resources below




Nature Play SA – 50 Things with loose parts Primary Years


Nature Play SA – 50 Things with loose parts Early Years


Nature Play Downloads – Loose Parts Info Sheet






Read this blog post by Juliet Robertson exploring the origins and theory of loose parts.


Explore this Loose Parts Play Toolkit written by Juliet Robertson and Theresa Casey for Inspiring Scotland. Hands down the most comprehensive toolkit for loose parts with everything covered from auditing, storing, risk assessing and everyday use of loose parts.

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A word about language development 

There is a growing body of research that highlights the capacity for natural environments to support complex and diverse use of language. Children use more descriptive language in natural environments and the environment in itself supports children to engage in varied conversation and incidental peer to peer communication.


The following activity provides just one way (and there are many) to use the natural world for language development.


Words from the trees

Touch the bark of one tree.

Look up at the top of that tree.

Look around the base of that tree.

Now – write down 10 (or 3 or 5) words to describe that tree.

Move to a new tree and repeat.

Complete this process with leaves.

All of these words can be used to create a word wall or poem.



Why not try … 

  • Tree poems can be placed at the base of each tree to form an outdoor poetry walk
  • Play a game of ‘What am I?’ and give three clues to guess exactly which tree you have in mind
  • Try this with sticks, stones, bark, small pieces of wood – anything at all.
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Exploring patterns in your natural and built environment is an open-ended task as anyone ‘wondering’ or discovering can lead to many, many more.


Check out this video exploring Patterns in Nature and this lesson plan from Wildsight.


Austin’s Butterfly is a timeless video featuring Ron Berger which explores the power of feedback, iteration, and patterning.


Fractals and Fibonacci

Two ways for students of all ages to explore the wonders of patterning in nature.


Find out more about fractals found in nature.


Primary students – find out more about Fibonacci in nature.






Two books that provide a great starting point for exploring patterning in nature are –


Mysterious Patterns and Growing Patterns by Sarah C Campbell


Growing Patterns : Sarah C. Campbell : 9781590787526















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