Natural Resources for Learning

Natural Resources for Learning

22 June 2020

Natural resources are those resources that we find in our wider world. Natural resources are gifts from Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) and provide interesting learning experiences for tamariki. Collecting natural resources with our tamariki is a fun and exciting activity to share.

Ideas for natural resources to collect: Shells, bark, sponges, stones, leaves, flowers, branches, logs, driftwood, seaweed, moss, lichen, rocks, sticks, pinecones, seedlings, bones, feathers, flax, herbs and vegetables. Remember to always use your natural resources appropriately and without waste, and return your collected resources to nature after use.

Ideas for using natural resources with tamariki:

  • Ordering -place shells or stones in a row smallest to largest, largest to smallest creating repeating patterns.
  • Threading – thread shells, leaves and other material onto string.
  • Sorting and matching – sort stones, shells, flowers and leaves in the same colour size or shape.
  • Pressing – use leaves, shells or nuts to make patterns in clay or sand.
  • Painting – paint stones, driftwood, large leaves and make prints on paper.
  • Weaving – use flax or palm leaves to weave between branches, feathers and wool; making patterns and wall hangings.
  • Leaf rubbings – place a thin piece of paper over a leaf and lightly rub a crayon over the paper to make a pattern.
  • Collages – use natural resources to make collage pictures.
  • Collect natural resources and put them on a tray for tamariki to observe, discuss and appreciate. This works well for herbs and vegetables, to then use for cooking without waste.

Having natural resources as part of our learning environment supports our tamariki to develop a sense of respect and responsibility for natural resources. When we are exploring nature, we are all reminded about the importance of kaitiakitanga and caring for and protecting our wider world.