Early Years

girl patting baby chick

The Early Years program at Edendale encourages and inspires your young learners to build connections to the natural world.

Similar in philosophy to a bush kinder program, we use the farm as our outdoor classroom, providing rich provocations for the children through fun, hands-on and play-based activities.

Our Early Years experiences help to meet learning outcomes of the VEYLDF and EYLF, particularly Outcomes 2 and 3 – children are connected with and contribute to their world, and children have a strong sense of wellbeing.

Teachers and educators can also reflect on Edendale’s environmental education experiences as they work towards Element 3.2.3 of the National Quality Standards (NQS) – ‘The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.

Farm Tour

A guided walk around Edendale with a focus on what farms produce for humans. Children will be able to feed and/or pat the chickens, guinea pigs, sheep and goats, meet our hard-working worms. Our alpacas and ponies are also part of the tour.

Minibeasts (invertebrates)

A Bug’s Life

Children search for, observe and identify different types of land and water bugs using magnifiers and special identification charts. They will learn about the amazing jobs these little creatures perform in the environment, including processing organic waste, and how different waterbugs can indicate how healthy our waterways are.

Eltham Copper Butterfly

Children learn about this very special endangered species, its lifecycle and habitat through story, drama and a parade of caterpillars, ants and butterflies.

Waste not

In this activity, children help a family who are having some problems separating their waste into the correct bins. This is a fun and hands-on sorting activity with clean rubbish props, followed by a relay race where children sort out the recyclables from the non-recyclables. This activity introduces children to the waste reduction hierarchy - rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Hands-on veggie gardening (seasonal)

Children explore the veggie gardens and orchards at Edendale, and they help our gardeners with tasks in the veggie patch such as watering and harvesting food. Children are encouraged to touch, smell and taste edible plants. They also plant a veggie seed in a little biodegradable pot to take away and watch it grow. Activities are designed to engage children in learning where their food comes from.

Environmental art

Edendale’s art teachers lead the children in activities that use recycled and repurposed objects, as well as materials from the natural world, including:

•Calico bag art – create a colourful print to take home, using fresh flowers and foliage on a calico drawstring bag

•Sculptural junk – use repurposed materials to make arty creatures (can be related to a specific topic like minibeasts).

Wonderful Worms

Explore the amazing life of the compost worm. Activities include visiting Edendale’s various worm farms, up-close observation of worms, learning about their needs and life cycle and the importance of worms in reducing waste to landfill.

Buzzing Around

Through dance, story, observation and play, children discover how our friends the honeybees live their busy lives. Using play-based learning and drama, they learn about how bees collect nectar and pollen, make wax and honey, pollinate flowers and look after their babies. Everyone will learn the bees' famous "Waggle Dance" and find out how bees work together in the hive!

Tailoring to you

We specialise in working with you to ensure our programs support your specific environmental education needs. Ask us if what you are learning about isn't specifically covered in our listed programs.

2024 Excursion prices

  • Prices per student, minimum group size of 15 children.
  • Each activity runs for approximately 50 minutes.
  • Our activities are fun, hands on and experiential and can be adapted specifically to your needs.
  • Many groups combine their Edendale excursion with a picnic / play at the Eltham North Adventure Playground, a short walk from our Northern gate.
Length of visit Number of activities   Price per child incl GST Min. cost incl GST
 1 hour  1 activity  $10.30  $154.50
 2 hours  2 activities  $17.75  $266.25
 3 hours  3 activities  $20.50  $307.50


Our team can come to you!

In addition to our very popular preschool excursion program, we also offer incursions to preschools and early childhood centres if you are relatively local to this area.

Most commonly, these are around worms and setting up a worm farm or hands-on planting and work in the veggie garden, but we have also conducted incursions around environmental art, minibeasts (both land and water) and waste/recycling. 

We can also support you in setting up things like veggie gardens or composting.

2024 Incursion prices

  • Prices are per child with a minimum group size of 15 children.
  • Each session runs for approximately one hour.
  • These prices are for Nillumbik preschools, and for those based within a 10 kilometre radius of Edendale. Please contact us for incursion prices if you would like a quote on an incursion and you are further from us than that. 

 Length of visit  Number of activities Price per child incl GST Min charge incl GST
 1 hour 1 activity  $12.90 $193.50
 2 hours  2 activities $22.15 $332.25




Contact the Education Team

t  9433 3706

e   edendale.education@nillumbik.vic.gov.au    

Booking Request Form

Complete this form to check for availability or prices for the program you are interested in.

We will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss further details.

Book early as our programs are very popular.


Other things you may like to incorporate into your excursion:

  • A walk along the Diamond Creek trail to Murray’s Wetlands, approximately 15 minutes. This area is a habitat for local flora and fauna.
  • Time to wander around Edendale and see the animals, if this is not part of your booked program.
  • Lunch and a play at the Eltham North adventure playground, which is a short walk from the farm and is also the drop off and pick up point for buses.
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