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Awakening the senses

What you need

  • Your eyes, ears, nose and fingers!
  • A garden or a window.


This activity works to develop your child’s ability to focus on nature and notice changes around you.

The experience

This activity will help awaken your senses to the great outdoors! If you have a garden, this will be the best spot for this activity. If you don’t have a garden, a balcony or an open window will also do the trick.

Talk to your child about things they know that are natural (eg animals, plants, weather) and things that are not natural (e.g. vehicles, furniture, rubbish.)

Where you are sat, either outdoors or able to view the outdoors, start by listing 3 natural things you can see (perhaps a tree, a bird and some grass). Next, close your eyes and list 3 things you can hear (maybe birdsong, a buzzing bee and the wind in the trees). Then open your eyes again and start sniffing with your nose: are there 3 things you can smell? (This might be trickier; you may need to move closer to flowers or plants to find 3 smells). Finally, as you move about, see if you can find 3 different textures to feel with your fingers (a soft petal, the squashy mud, a rough stone). If you are indoors looking out, this might be trickier, but perhaps feel any plants or flowers you may have in the house.

Ask your child about their favourite sight, sound, smell and texture from the activity. What did they like about it?

This is a good activity to do multiple times on different days. You can then compare and see if you spot any new sensory information. How is your natural environment changing? Talk about these changes with your child and enjoy the awe and wonder of observing nature!