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Sensory Trail

New ways to connect with nature

Here on the Sensory Trail, you are invited to use all of your senses – see, listen, move, touch and smell, to connect with the natural world. 

See like me!

Have you ever wondered how a tiny insect sees us and the world around them? What about how things look from a bird’s eye view? How do you look at things around you? What if you tried looking at things in a different way. What would you see? Let’s find out.  

Ranger Dani takes us on a seeing adventure, looking at things from the perspective of a tiny bug, a high-flying bird, and finally…as her own human self!


A Seeing Activity:
Now it’s your turn. Here are some tips and tricks so you too can see the world as a different creature. Let’s see what you can find.  
  1. Find a safe place to lie down on your stomach. Start with your eyes closed or very gently open, while you take a few nice deep breathes in and out, beginning to imagine yourself as a teeny tiny insect on a blade of grass.
  2. Open your eyes fully and observe all that you can see from down here on the ground. What shapes and colors are present? Do things look bigger or smaller to you from down here? Is there anything growing around you?
  3. Now you can turn over so that you are lying on your back (have you ever helped an insect up who was stuck on their back?)- looking up to the sky. Spend some time observing all that’s above you. Maybe there are clouds forming shapes. Perhaps you can see a tree moving in the breeze, or birds flying overhead. How do things look from all the way down here on the ground?
  4. Now, it’s time to get up as high as you can, imagining you’re looking at the world through the eyes of a bird. You can get up on your tippy toes, or even have an adult accompany you on a walk to a hill where you can gain a little bit of height.
  5. Look down below you. Do you notice anything growing in the soil? What sorts of textures and details are you able to see? Does the world look different when you’re looking down?
  6. Finally, it’s time to stand or sit up right where you are, looking forward, seeing the world through the eyes of a human (that’s you!) Sometimes we start to notice new details emerging in our environment when we simply take the time to stay in one place and to observe. Spending a few moments here, what are you able to see? Would the insect or the bird be able to see things the way that you are seeing them?
Pick your own creature
Come up with your own animal that you’d like to imagine seeing things from the perspective of. Think about the size of your animal and how they move to decide what angle you will begin from. What do you see?

It’s time to listen

Have you ever watched a kangaroo in the wild and noticed how its ears are constantly swivelling around listening to sounds in all directions?  Active listening is an very important outdoor survival and awareness skill and we will show you how it works.

In this activity you’re invited to tune into the sounds in the landscape around you from all directions -  North, South, East, and West. If you don’t know where these directions are, think about what time of day it is and where the sun rises (hint: East) and sets (hint: West), or quickly check the compass on your phone, or just listen to the sounds to your left, right, behind and in front of you.


  1. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable to, notice your body and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to help you relax.
  1. Then, tune into the sounds in the direction of North. Let your awareness travel across the landscape in the direction of North and listen for the quietest sound. Are there natural sounds? Human sounds? Is there a rhythm or a melody to these sounds? What birds can you hear? Spend at least 30 seconds listening to these sounds.
  1. Next, turn your awareness to the East. Follow the steps above.
  1. Now, to the South. What is the quietest sound you can hear in the South? Repeat steps above.
  1. And finally, the West. Listening for the quietest sound and repeating the steps above.
  • What is the closest sound you can hear to you right now?
  • For a few moments, increase the sound of your own breath and add your sound to this landscape.
Now open your eyes. What did you notice as you were listening? What did you hear? Share what you noticed with a friend, parent or in your journal.
Listening like a kangaroo
Prey animals like kangaroos and horses are some of the best listeners around. Their ears are constantly swivelling around to alert them to any possible danger, particularly, predators lurking in the bushes. Their ears move independently so they can even have one ear facing forwards and one ear facing backwards, listening to sounds in front and behind them at the same time.
Let’s put our kangaroo ears on and see if this improves our hearing.
Cup your hands around your ears to help catch and channel the sound into your ears. First try with both hands cupped and facing forwards. What can you hear? Are the sounds in front of you louder? Now turn your hands so they’re facing backwards. Do you hear the sounds behind you more loudly? Now try having one hand facing forwards and one hand facing backwards. How does that change what you hear?

I like to move it, move it  

There are many ways to move through the world. Trying to move like an animal, plant, or tree that you observe can be a wonderful way to connect with your surroundings.

In this video, Ranger Louise demonstrates how to move like a tree blowing in the breeze, maybe you’ll want to join her and grow into a tree too!

Embodying Nature:

In many Indigenous cultures people mimic the movements of animals in their dances and ceremonies to communicate important information about the natural world. In this activity we can learn about and connect to nature through embodying animals and trees. Many yoga poses are also named after animals and trees. Want to try some?


Let’s get some inspiration from the natural environment around us.

Can you see any trees?

Let’s move and breathe like a tree.

Breathe in and take both arms out to the sides and up over your head until your palms come together to touch. As you breathe out lower your arms down back to your sides. Repeat this a few times. Then, breathe in and take both arms up overhead until your palms come together. As you breathe out, bend sideways to the right, keeping your palms clasped together overhead. Breathe in and come back to centre. Breathe out and bend to sideways to the left, keeping your palms together. Repeat this a few times, leaning side to side, stretching.
Let’s look around for other animals. Can you….

  • Stretch out your wings and fly like a cockatoo?
  • Crouch down on all fours and leap like a frog?
  • Hop like a wallaby?
  • Slither on your belly like a snake?
  • Waddle like a duck?

Keep going for as long as you like!

Time to touch!

Have you ever run your hand along the bumpy texture of tree bark? Do you know if the soil below your feet feels warm or cold or something in between? Here at the park, there is so much to explore and observe through touch.

Join Ranger Dani as she tries to find some of the items from the touch scavenger hunt! How many do you think she’ll find?

Scavenger Hunt!

Let’s go on a scavenger hunt through the park. How many different textures can you feel around you?  *Make sure to touch all living things with gentle care. *

  • Smooth
  • Bumpy
  • Soft
  • Hard
  • Cold
  • Warm
  • Wet
  • Dry
  • Crinkly
  • Wooden
  • Fuzzy
  • Spiky
  • Light
  • Heavy
  • Silky
  • Rough
  • Sharp

Did you feel anything that wasn’t on the list? What was it?

Feet feelings

Find and explore different textures using your feet instead of your hands … or roll around in the leaves (you can close your eyes for an extra sensational experience!)

What’s that smell?

We all stop to smell the flowers from time to time, but have you ever stopped to smell the soil? What about a tree, or a blade of grass? Do you think everything in nature as its own unique smell? If you take the time to slow down and smell what surrounds you, you just might smell something new!

Join Ranger Dani as she takes the time to let her nose discover the unique smells around her.  

Now it’s your turn:

  1. Start by taking a moment to slow down, sitting, or standing where you are, and taking some nice deep breaths in through your nose, and then out through your nose. Maybe you can already start to smell your surroundings.
  2. Find the following items and spend some time smelling them:
  • A tree trunk
  • A tree branches
  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Soil
  • Any unique plants that are present
  • Any seeds that are present
  • The sky

Creating different smells

  • Use your water bottle to pour a bit of water onto the item you’re smelling, does the water change the smell?
  • If you are smelling something that fits in your hand, rub item together by putting it between your fingers and using a rolling motion, does this change the smell?