Immerse your class in the magical world of a garden where experience-based learning creates connections through gardening, play, the inspiration of story and the child’s imagination. Each program is led by a Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria facilitator and can be adapted to suit individual group needs.
The following programs incorporate the Victorain Curriculum. They provide an excellent means of teaching across the learning areas in an integrated way.
All programs 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration.
10.15am to 12noon
12.30pm to 2.15pm
Program prices (domestic)
$11.90 per student (includ. GST)
$214.20 per class, for small groups (Minimum Charge)
Teachers / Adults free
Bookings and information
Melbourne bookings and information
T 03 9252 2358
Cranbourne bookings and information
T 03 5990 2200
Health and Wellbeing in Nature
Health and wellbeing is interconnected with time spent in natural environments. Being in nature reduces anger, fear, anxiety and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
In this specially developed new program, students are invited to explore the physical, mental and emotional benefits of spending time outside. Participants will brainstorm and discuss the role of healthy foods, physical exercise and spending time outside in cultivating health and wellbeing. Through practice of mindfulness exercises, participants will learn to nurture their own self-awareness and greater awareness of others and the natural world.
Carbon Futures – taking action against Climate Change
The Carbon Futures program takes students out of the classroom and into the bush to gain a practical look at carbon in the environment and how it relates to climate change. Students will learn about how carbon works in different natural systems measuring carbon in trees. Students will also discover the many other services a forest has to offer people anywhere on the planet. Find out what it means for us and what we can do about it individually, take home a drought tolerant, carbon fixing plant. Contribute to a national science program that helps inform Australia’s response to climate change. Walk the ClimateWatch trail and observe the plants and animals that are most sensitive to future climate change. Record what you see using the free ClimateWatch smartphone app, or on recording sheets available from the Visitor Centre.
Connecting to Country
Connecting to Country is designed to give students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture, particularly of the local Koolin. Students will understand the significance of Waa (the raven) and Birrarung (Yarra River). Experiences include making and using ochre paint, string making and a hands-on exploration of tools. The emphasis is on diversity and examining sustainable land practices used by Aboriginal people.
This program is also offered as a full-day itinerary including a visit to the Koorie Heritage Trust, where students can discover the richness and diversity of South-Eastern Indigenous culture through a showcase of art, artefacts, maps and cultural interpretation.
- Teachers Kit (MS Word -2.045 MB)
- Program Snapshot (MS Word - 108 kB)
- VELS Program Guide (MS Word - 59 kB)
- Koorie Heritage Trust program
Introduction to the Gardens
The Magic Garden
With a sense of adventure and weaving their own magic, children meet the plants that live in the garden and find out what they have to say! Students create crowns with plant material collected in the Children’s Garden and make pot pourri in the Herb Garden. A sensory focused exploration of the Gardens.
This arts-based program gives students opportunities to respond to inspiring environments and garden experiences creatively, cooperatively and imaginatively. Students create group collages from plant materials, explore cycles and spirals in nature and create leaf rubbings.
Experience a rainforest in the centre of Melbourne! Within the Gardens there is a huge diversity of rainforest plants from Australia and around the world. Students will explore rainforest structure and ecology and the importance of rainforest conservation. Students make forest animals from plant materials.
Water, Plants, Life
Water and plants are vital for life on earth, especially now with increasing population and a changing climate. This program looks at the interrelationship of these two important elements, and how people can grow more plants with less water. Students will do hands-on activities involving handling different types of soil and propagating a water conservation plant.
This program provides students with the chance to observe minibeasts in different habitats and explore their connection to the plant world. Investigate a worm farm, explore a water habitat and hunt with a magnifying glass in the leaf litter of the Gardens. Activities include taking a closer look at the role of minibeasts in soil and making a minibeast repellent pot pourri to take home. (This program is also offered as a full day itinerary with a screening of Bugs: Mighty Micro Monsters at IMAX) This unique film takes you on a tour of the bustling world beneath your feet to meet the true rulers of Planet Earth. From the Kenyan savannah to the tropical rainforests of North East Australia, the superpowers of these mighty micro monsters are revealed. (Please book and pay with each venue separately.)
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Education
T 03 9252 2358
T 03 9663 0200
Food Forest & Sustainable Gardening
This program makes hands-on and sensory connections between food and plants, giving students the opportunity to observe carnivores and herbivores, and understand nutrient cycles and food chains. Exploring the harvest of the Kitchen Garden, students make connections between plants, healthy diets, organic and sustainable gardening. Activities include propagating a food plant to grow at school, composting, organic gardening methods, exploring culinary herbs in the Herb Garden and finding out what worms eat.
The basic skills of good gardening practice are taught during this hands-on program that includes water conservation, organic gardening methods, composting and worm farming. While exploring the Children’s Garden and the wider Botanic Gardens, students will consider ideas for designing or developing their own garden. Activities include the propagation of a plant to take home.
Explore the structure and function of plants and investigate amazing adaptations from a variety of ecosystems. Students look at plants under microscopes, pot a seedling and visit the Tropical Hot House and the Herb Garden.
Plants and Animals
The focus of this program is the fascinating plant and animal interrelationships that exist in garden environments. Students will look closely at soil, make their own creature from plant materials, and visit the Tropical Hot House to meet carnivorous plants.
Other Melbourne activities
- Stroll down to the lake 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.
- 50 things for kids to do (PDF - 1.82 kB)