Outdoor Learning for Early Years

Early Years outdoor learning

Outdoor Learning for Early Years

Painshill offers a range of sensory outdoor learning activities which incorporates outdoor play and encourages making friends. Each led activity uses a different approach to help pupils on school visits experience and enjoy the natural environment. Our activities are closely linked to the areas of learning and development in the EYFS curriculum.

Learning for Early Years

Activities will be tailored to your school group and the weather but can include any of the following: 

Minibeast Safari

Search logs, leaves and shake the trees on a Minibeast Safari. Look for creatures that live in different habitats. Through play and games, learn about camouflage, how to identify creatures and how they live.

Early Years outdoor learning minibeast safari
Early Years outdoor learning fairytale story walk

Fairytale Story Walk

Children go on a fairytale story walk through the magical landscape of Painshill, past the Three Bears’ house in the woods to Sleeping Beauty’s Gothic Temple. Children join in the storyteller’s fairytale with drama, dance, games and the amazing prop basket. Activities are designed to encourage children to co-operate and communicate.

Wild Art

School groups can search for natural materials to make their own paints. The clay, mud, roots, petals, leaves, chalk and homemade charcoal are ground up to make the water paints. Or school groups can explore shapes, colours and textures by gathering natural materials on the forest floor to create a giant collage of a Painshill woodland animal.

Early Years outdoor learning wild art
Early Years plant explorers

Plant Explorers

Explore plants throughout the seasons in woodlands, gardens and meadows. Starting off as tiny seeds, children use play to discover the wonderful world of plants and how to grow into terrific trees. Activities can include making natural perfumes and woodland collages.

Sensory Walk

Children use their senses on a nature walk through Painshill. Short games and fun activities focus children on using all their senses. Children explore textures, shapes, colours and smells on a nature scavenger hunt.

Early Years sensory play
sensory explorers

Sensory Explorers – The Crystal Cave

A journey to Painshill’s crystal Grotto, exploring the vineyard, ruins and forest. At the Grotto, pupils discover craggy rocks and glittering crystals; explore light and dark; experience the texture of the rocks and the sounds of the water.


Contact us about Learning for Early Years

Things to See & Do

Painshill is an award-winning 18th century landscape garden where you are invited to walk around a work of art. Winding paths will take you on a journey to discover a living canvas with beautiful vistas and dramatically placed garden buildings. Stroll around the Serpentine Lake, wander through woodland and promenade past follies, including the Ruined Abbey, Gothic Temple and Turkish Tent.

Painshill map - transparent background