Early Childhood Melbourne
The Early Childhood Program is an enjoyable and safe first excursion for four 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.
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 bookings and information
+61 3 9252 2358
Cranbourne bookings and information
+61 3 5990 2200
- Early childhood education program flyer (MS Word - 71 kb)
- View an early childhood class in action
- Early Childhood Teacher Kit (MS Word - 1.33 mb)
- The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden teachers’ kit (MS Word - 7.75 mb)
- Victorian Early Years Development Framework (MS Word - 84 kb)
Landscapes for Learning NEW
Are you planning a garden or play space at your kindergarten or childcare centre?
Do you want the children to be an integral part of the design process?
Through the exploration of the plants and landscapes of the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, children discover how to develop an outdoor play and learning space that can be centred around imaginative play. During their visit, children will discover cubby building, imaginative play with natural materials, the sensory world of plants, real work in the garden, plant selection and how these can be incorporated into their own their own kindergarten or childcare centre.
Children will take home a seedling or propagated plant to contribute to their garden space.
Introduction to the Gardens
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. Note this program changes with the seasons.
Plants the dinosaurs ate!
Journey back in time to Fern Gully to look for longnecks peering through the rainforest canopy, discover dinosaur ‘dinner plates’ the Cycads and feel the prickles of the Bunya Bunya Pine. Experiences include finding real plant fossil in shale and potting up a pet dino-plant to take home.
You me and Murawee by Kerri Hashmi
This program gives students a greater understanding and respect for the culture of the local Kulin. Students explore indigenous plants in the Children’s Garden, collect 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.
A garden of rhythm and rhyme (Available Term 1, 2 and 4)
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.
Wonderful water (Available Term 1)
This is 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.
Homes and hideaways (Available Term 1 and 2)
This program explores the ways that plant material can be used as homes for ourselves and other animals. Experiences include a 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 (Available 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 planting, digging, harvesting (the type of work depends on the season), planting a seed to take home, meeting the worms and making a herbal tea bag.
Minibeasts (Available Term 4)
Investigate the creatures that share our garden, explore how they live and help our gardens grow. Discover why plants attract and repel little creatures. Experiences include ponding, worm farming, a discovery walk, animal observations, sensory exploration of plants and making a pest repellant pot pourri.
- Stroll down to the lake and tearooms for a hot or cold drink and visit the swans and 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 breathtaking views.
- Take in the peace and serenity of the Gardens and find a shady tree to relax under.