Explore your World!
Discover lots of books and facts about the natural world, from insects to ducks and an A-Z of animals, with the opportunity to explore and question.
This pathway supports your child in Understanding the World, the final ‘specific’ area of the Early Years curriculum. These activities will encourage your child to be curious about the world around them, mirroring the learning done in subjects such as science, history and geography.
With this age group, learning about their world is about encouraging curiosity, sharing different experiences, and building key concepts to support your child’s future learning. Young children are highly curious about their world; encourage this by asking open-ended questions, observing the world closely together and thinking about what you notice.
What’s in the Pathway?
- There are six books to read, listen to and talk about:
- The first book in this Pathway shares two well-known nursery rhymes, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” (also known as ‘Incey Wincey Spider’) and “Five Little Ducks”. Your child might know these rhymes if they go to nursery, a childminder or playgroup – sing along, together with your child.
- Next is a book about “How We See”, exploring how the eyes of different animals work, and contrasting this with how a baby sees. When exploring the world with your child, think about all the senses – what we see, but also what we hear, touch, taste and smell. The more you encourage your child to use all their senses to make observations of their world, the more effective it is for their learning.
- The next book allows us to “Zoom In!”, with an interactive book gradually zooming in on Earth to show smaller features. Look at a mapping app (such as Google Maps or Google Earth) with your child, showing them how big the world is, and how we can zoom in to look at the detail of specific locations.
- The next book is “Animals A to Z”, where your child learns about lots of interesting animals, recalling the alphabet learning from other pathways.
- The last two books in this Pathway focus in on insects. “Ants” shares lots of interesting ant facts to support your child’s growing sense of wonder.
- Finally, “Amazing Insects” helps your child explore the creatures that live all around us. When you are outdoors with your child, talk about the creatures you spot, noting their features and identifying aspects such as colours and shapes.
- The songs, books and stories in this Pathway are interspersed with lots of fun and interactive learning activities. In this Pathway, your child practises the counting skills they have learned, using images of animals and insects. They link amounts to sets, find the animals in groups of different items, and say their names.
- There are also spelling, magic paint and dance off activities to complete, linked to the songs, books and stories in the Pathway. Join in with your child as they do these, to support their learning and have fun together as a family!
Activities for you to do at home
- When out on a walk, encourage your child’s interest and curiosity by spotting interesting natural items in the environment, and building a collection. Pick up a skeleton leaf, a bird feather or an interesting pebble. Display these on a shelf or in a small cabinet to elevate their importance. Talk with your child about where they come from and why they are of interest.
- Look at a world map or globe together, to support your child’s developing understanding of the world. Identify the place where you live. Show your child other places in the world that are of interest or importance, for instance, locations where family members live, or where you have been to on holidays. Talk about distances as you look at the map/globe, using vocabulary such as ‘far away’ and ‘nearby’.
- Make a bug hotel together and explore the mini beasts that take up residence. You need materials such as sticks, twigs, bamboo canes, old bricks, and so on, to arrange in a box or crate so the bugs can make a home. A magnifying glass is a great investment to allow your child to ‘zoom in’ on the tiny creatures which inhabit your hotel.