Natural learning spaces

Creating natural areas for children, both within and beyond your yard, has become integral to healthy childhood development; and issues related to decreased contact with and connection to nature have been well documented.

NRM Education supports sites to use their outdoor spaces as unique learning environments, as well as for natural play. When used for learning, outdoor spaces provide an authentic context for addressing multiple curriculum areas and enhancing student engagement. See below for more information and examples of how to link your outdoor learning spaces to the curriculum and into the enduring culture of your early learning site or school.

Linking to the Australian Curriculum


Information packs


Fact sheets



  • Benefits of plants for play clip
  • Introduction to 'local' and 'provenance' plants clip
  • Sea-berry saltbush (Rhagodia candollena) and Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa) clip
  • Pigface (Carpobrotus rossii) clip
  • Sticky Hop-bush (Dodonaea viscosa) clip
  • Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) clip
  • Flax lilies (Dianella sp.) clip
  • Cushion bush (Leucophyta brownii) clip
  • Native lilac (Hardenbergia violacea) clip
  • Finger-rush/common/pale rush (Juncus sp.) clip
  • Coast daisy bush (Olearia axillaris) and twiggy daisy bush (Olearia ramulosa) clip
  • Preschools Outdoor Learning Project, consultation planning and community engagement and construction and use – Department for Education
  • Children and nature: reconnecting through play video and PowerPoint – Tim Gill

Case studies

Be inspired by how other early learning sites and schools are creating and using natural learning spaces.

Related links