Nature Play in Early Childhood

Kirsty Costa - Cool Australia
Award Winning Educator
Get children learning outside and enjoying the many benefits of learning in nature. This course supports the NQS and EYLF.
Target Audience
Early childhood educators, centre directors, managers and others working with early childhood services.
15 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

A growing body of research suggests that nature play helps children develop their physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral capacities. There are many ways to integrate nature play into your learning programs, no matter where your early childhood service is located.

In this 2 hour online course, you will explore:

  • Research about how nature play helps childhood development.
  • Ways to integrate nature play into your service’s programs.
  • Opportunities and barriers.
  • How to talk to families and involve your community.
  • A range of teaching resources linked to the EYLF.

Build your confidence and skills. Explore the course at your own pace, in your own time.
Learn today, teach tomorrow.


Early childhood educators, centre directors, managers and others working with early childhood services.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

A short online course is delivered over 1-3 weeks in duration and is worth 2-3 PD hrs depending on the course content and its objectives. Participants will not need to take time off, the course date is the START date only, end dates will be advertised with course hours. Learn more HERE.

>> This 2 hour online professional development is open for 2 weeks.
We recommend you allocate some time in your calendar, in advance, to enjoy the activities and get the most out of the course.

>> This course supports the EYLF in Outcomes 2, 3 and 4.
It also supports achieving National Quality Standard 2.2 and 3.2.

This course contributes to 2.0 professional development hours.


Start Date Location Availability Price    
22/05/2017 Online Places available $89 + GST Enrol Now
19/06/2017 Online Places available $89 + GST Enrol Now


1. Introduction

20 minutes

Introduce yourself to the course group and get outside in nature.

2. The Benefits

15 minutes

Think about how children’s health is changing and find out about the many benefits of nature play.

3. Types of Nature Play

30 minutes

Discover the types of nature play and consider what will be appropriate for your early childhood service or organisation.

4. EYLF and NQS

20 minutes

Explore nature play resources that help your service achieve Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) outcomes and the requirements of the National Quality Standard (NQS).

5. Overcoming Challenges

20 minutes

Find out about risk management and how to talk to families about nature play.

6. Reflection

15 minutes

Use a fun reflection tool to think about your learning and consider your next steps.

Further Study

No duration specified

After you’ve completed the course, you are welcome to explore these optional lessons to deepen your learning.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Millicent Backway on 06/12/2016

As i have already read a lot about the benefits of nature play a lot of this wasn’t news to me however I of course still found it fascinating to have a lot of my personal theories about the link between nature and mental health proven by Dimity Williams. It makes me so happy that there are so many passionate people out there that believe in nature play! I thought it was just something I enjoyed but now i see that it really is absolutely an essential part of my job as an educator to provide these nature experiences for the children I work with.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Sophie Skea on 06/12/2016

Loved this course – focused and concise. Everything is backed up with research and some great ideas are shared.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Tegan Whitehead on 06/12/2016

An informative course that makes you stop and rethink outdoor and nature play.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Helen Bullock on 06/12/2016

I enjoyed the course. It gave me a different perspective on Nature in Early Childhood. I am a person that enjoys the outdoors and know the personal benefits for me interacting with nature and now I know the benefits for the children. I would recommend this course to other early childhood educators in reflecting the importance of how to nurture nature in children.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Dawn Ogley on 29/09/2016

A very worthwhile course to do with so many links to further information. It gave me the confidence to implement some nature based play experiences in our play area at school by just starting small

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Rachel Khattab on 29/09/2016

The course was well organised and informative. It was useful to refresh my knowledge and ideas yet challenging to provide new information to be able to take away and incorporate it into my early childhood setting. I am looking forward to working with families and supporting children through play with nature which will further enhance their health and development. I am also looking forward to exploring the links and further extending on my knowledge.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Lisa Moustakas on 29/09/2016

Excellent and resourceful.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Jess Beattie on 29/09/2016

The course provided a variety of resources that can be used freely.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Michelle Meads on 29/09/2016

A very useful course that provided ideas on how to include nature play into learning programs.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Angela Dickens on 05/07/2016

Great course explaining the benefits of nature play. I would have liked to have seen more examples of nature play grounds that have already been set up and some suggestions of how to create a wildscape in a back yard. (Eg what are the best materials/timber types etc)

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Carolyn Martin on 05/07/2016

I enjoyed the flexibility and different ways to learn- video clips, links to other resources which meant I could walk away with further learning and resources to use after the course is finished

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Kay Everson on 29/03/2016

Nature and Play is a great course for strategies to assist students in developing resilience skills. There are a many resources available as well as valuable support from Cool Australia.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Gay Ross on 29/03/2016

This course reinforced my thought process for why and how I should develop a Nature play component for my class. Information and resources were excellent! I have enjoyed this course and makes me a little hungry for some more! Thanks so much!

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Louise Stiller on 02/02/2016

A very useful course. It provided me with a deeper understanding of the importance of nature play has on a child social, emotional and physical well being. Working with Special needs children it has allowed me to gain ideas and strategies to assist them in their learning and guided them into become confident individuals.

Nature Play in Early Childhood
by Jane Chalker on 02/02/2016

This course was brilliantly researched and executed. I am a total Cool Australia advocate as the job they do is extremely professional and personal at the same time.

About the team

Kirsty Costa - Cool Australia


Kirsty lives in her element by working in roles that focus on education and community. Most recently, she’s been a primary classroom teacher, an education consultant and teacher coach.

Kirsty inspires audiences with her fresh ideas and provides pathways that help make a difference to teaching and learning. She delivers online courses, webinars, workshops and keynote addresses to educators across the country. Kirsty helps teachers to build their knowledge, skills and confidence so that they can design exceptional learning for all young Australians.

Kirsty was awarded the 2013 Victorian Environmental and Sustainability Educator of the Year.

Cool Australia


Cool Australia is an award winning not-for-profit dedicated to supporting educators with tools to foster ‘learning for life’. We help integrate topics around sustainability, ethics, economics and wellbeing across the curriculum. This enables teachers of all age groups and disciplines to engage young Aussies in real-life learning whilst achieving Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework outcomes. Our accredited professional development is designed to build your confidence, understanding and expertise. You will learn through a mixture of practical and thinking activities as well as hearing the stories of others. Plus you will access a range of teaching tools that can you can use straight away in your teaching.