Early Childhood Programs
A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne or Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is an ideal excursion for early childhood groups. Early childhood educators play a key role in the development and implementation of these programs.
The Early Childhood Program (ECP) is a wonderful, enjoyable and safe first excursion for 4 year olds. Each program is led by a Royal Botanic Gardens Early Childhood teacher and can be adapted to suit individual group needs. Teacher professional development workshops are also available on request.
- Katie Koala’s bush birthday
- Baby Bilby where do you sleep?
- Scents and Senses
- You me and Murawee by Kerri Hashmi (New Program)
Katie Koala’s bush birthday
Help the puppet, Katie Koala to prepare and celebrate her birthday. Deliver invitations to the homes of native animals, play games and make bush party decorations as well as a potpourri sachet. Discover the plants and animals that call the Cranbourne Bushland home. Experiences include discovery-walk, animal observations, sensory exploration of plants and bushcraft activity.
Search for Baby Bilby in the new Australian Garden and discover the colours, sights, smells and textures of the Australian landscape. Learn about the plants and animals that make the arid centre of Australia their home. Then meet Bilby’s cousin Bandicoot who lives in the Cranbourne bushland. Experiences include discovery-walk, observations and sensory exploration of plants in their landscape.
Immerse yourself in sensory bliss. Explore the Australian Garden with all of your senses in a manner that will delight, excite and surprise you with its depth and intensity. Smell and taste the flavours of Australia, see the clear, strong light illuminating our landscapes and hear the sounds hidden by our everyday rush. Above all, feel more than the textures of a time worn land, feel the excitement of a special place. Experiences include ochre painting, potpourri and bushfood tasting.
This program gives students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture in particular the local Kulin Nation. Through the story-book students explore indigenous plants in the Children’s Garden, collecting plant treasures and use Aboriginal tools. Experiences include grinding and painting with ochre, ponding/ water play and dance.
- Introduction to the Gardens - including Spring, Autumn and Christmas variations
- Plants the dinosaurs ate!
- You me and Murawee by Kerri Hashmi
- A garden of rhythm and rhyme ~ Term 1, 2 and 4
- Wonderful water ~ Term 1
- Homes and hideaways ~ Term 1 and 2
- Food for life ~ Term 2
- Minibeasts ~ Term 4
- Children's Garden operating hours
Use your senses to explore the wonderful sights, seasonal changes and stories of the Gardens and meet the plants and animals that live there. Children will pot up a plant to take home, make pot pourri in the herb garden and collect garden treasures.
Children journey back in time to Fern Gully to look for longnecks peering through the canopy of the rainforest to look for dinosaurs ‘dinner plates’ the Cycads and feel the prickles of the Bunya Bunya Pine. Experiences also include finding real plant fossil in shale and planting a pet dino- plant to take home.
This program gives students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture in particular the local Kulin Nation. Through the story-book students explore indigenous plants in the Children’s Garden, collecting plant treasures and use Aboriginal tools. Experiences include grinding and painting with ochre, meeting Waa (the Raven) and making a belonging handprint to take home.
- Aboriginal Resources Trail Kit (MS Word - 6 mb)
- Early Childhood Teacher Kit (MS Word - 1.33 mb)
- TIPCGF Teacher Kit (MS Word - 7.75 mb)
An exploration of the connections between music, sound and the plant world. Experiences include: responses to the landscape through movement and music-making, exploration of plants as instruments and joining in plant-inspired rhymes and songs.
A water conservation program that explores the connections between water and living things. Experiences include: Ponding in the wetland and the sensory exploration of plants adapted to survive in arid environments. Children understand that plants need water by potting a seedling to take home.
This program explores the ways that plant material can be used as homes, for ourselves and other animals. Experiences include: Discovery-walk to observe animals in their homes, cubby building, sensory exploration of plant material and potting an indigenous seedling to create habitat for animals.
Food for life ~ Term 2
A hands-on organic gardening experience where children do the real work in the Kitchen Garden and make connections between plants and food. Experiences include: gardening such as planting, digging, harvesting (the type of work will depend on the season) planting a seed to take home, meeting the worms and making a herbal tea bag.
Investigate the creatures we share our garden with, exploring how they live and how they help our gardens grow. Discover why plants attract and repel little creatures. Experiences include: include: ponding, wormfarm, discovery-walk, animal observations, sensory exploration of plants and making a pest repellant pot pourri.
Children's Garden operating hours
Monday – Tuesday general public
All days, for two months at the start of third term (Victorian State Schools)
Monday – Tuesday for education booked programs only, 10am - 4pm
Wednesday – Sunday, 10am - Sunset
All public holidays, 10am – Sunset
Open seven days per week during Victorian State School holidays
All programs 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration.
10.15am – 12.00 noon
12.30pm – 2.15pm
Program prices (domestic)
$10.50 per student (includ. GST)
$189.00 per class, for small groups (Minimum Charge)
Teachers / Adults free
Bookings and information
Melbourne: (03) 9252 2358
Cranbourne: (03) 5990 2245
Email: education services
Melbourne suggested activities
- Stroll down to the lake and tearooms for a cold or hot drink and visit the swans and the eels.
- Visit the rainforest habitat in the Fern Gully and discover the rainforest plants and animals that live there.
- Journey up to the Temple of the Winds and take in the breath taking views.
- Take in the peace and serenity of the Gardens and find a shady tree to relax under.
Cranbourne suggested activities
- Wander up to Trig Point Lookout to take in the amazing views from the mountains to the sea. On a clear day you can see forever (Mt Macedon, the You Yangs, Phillip Island and the City).
- Cool your feet wading in the marked section of the Rockpool Waterway.
- Climb on redgum Hortasaurus and slide down his big red tongue in the Childrens Backyard.
- Discover the fossils and footprints in the shady Desert Discovery Camp sand pit.
- Have a warm or cold drink in the Boonerwurrung Cafe and see what you can find in the Gardens Shop.
Early Childhood Education Programs flyer
Victorian Early Childhood Development Framework and RBG Programs
RBG has been delivering high quality outcomes based early childhood programs for over 15 years. Through this experience RBG has refined and its early childhood programs, drawing on best practice ensuring the RBG maintains its reputation as a leader in early childhood education within Victoria.
An Early Learning Partnership Case Study
Children from cities have a limited opportunity to be touched by the earth. The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Cranbourne (RBG) provide purpose built, rich environmental spaces for children in early childhood to discover their natural environment through the agency of their families and pre school programs. The RBG also provides workshops and professional development for parents and EC professionals in developing appropriate resources and practices.
Last updated 29 Jan 2013