Me in My Environment activities help build awareness and sensitivity to nature.

| By Enviroschools Tasman team

The Tasman Enviroschools team usually runs Tasman Mission, a sustainability adventure race once each year for Tasman Enviroschools. In 2021 we were unable to host the event due to COVID-19, so instead we took the opportunity to offer schools the chance to enjoy some nature connection activities inspired by the “Me in my Environment” section of the Enviroschools kit.

One of the key concepts of Me in My Environment is Everything is Connected – Inter-relatedness, Whanaungatanga, Whakapapa – and this was a focus for the day’s activities.

“There are many ways that people are connected to their environment – physically, spiritually and emotionally. If we recognise and deepen these connections, we are more likely to act in ways that enhance, rather than degrade, our natural world.” – p 53 Enviroschools Kit, Me in My Environment.

Year 3-4 students at Mapua School had fun with the “Meet a Tree” activity.

With blindfolds on, the students had to trust their buddy to lead them safely to a tree on the school grounds.

The students spent time getting to know their tree by touching and smelling the bark, feeling the leaves, hugging their tree to see how big it is, and feeling what the ground around the tree was like.












Students then took off their blindfold to see if they could find their tree. Some students already knew their tree really well from all the time they have spent playing and climbing in them, so finding them was easy – like finding an old friend!


After the activities were completed, the students said that the mindfulness made them feel calm, and they learned that you could feel things even if you don’t know what it is.

The Wakefield School students learned that the bugs they observed in the shrubs and compost really did belong to nature.

“Close encounters of the sensory kind” is a group of activities which focus attention on the senses, reminding us of the importance of experiencing our environment through our senses and the influence this has on our behavour and attitude.  This and other experiential activities, games, surveys and pūrākau/ stories help to create a pool of knowledge/ puna mātauranga of the current situation in our school community.