Preschool Educational Resources on Singapore And Its Biodiversity

The National Parks Board’s (NParks) first comprehensive package of resource materials that is designed and produced specially for children aged between 5 and 6 years old offers endless opportunities for children to observe, explore, express and collaborate.

Each package consists of a picture book, videos, posters, picture word cards and an educational card game – all featuring the unique and diverse plants and animals found in Singapore! While an array of local resources currently exists for preschool educators and parents to engage their young learners, not many focus on the rich biodiversity found on our island.

Hence, NParks’ resource package was conceived to make readily available, materials that feature native flora and fauna for pre-schoolers to learn to appreciate Singapore’s biodiversity. For the first time, pre-schoolers can learn to count using picture cards featuring native fauna like the monitor lizard and pangolin!

Students at My First Skool learning about the native flora and fauna.

Kristine Olifermo, a teacher at My First Skool, shares her experience exploring this package with her Nursery students. “Being a foreign teacher, when people mention ‘Singapore’, words such as ‘high-tech’, ‘buildings’ and ‘heavy traffic’ immediately come to my mind. Who would have thought Singapore has so much biodiversity?

As a tuning-in activity to the picture book, I picked five out of 30 picture word cards and used the fun facts at the back to intrigue students to learn about the flora and fauna in Singapore. The cards were colourful and informative, which made them popular!

The students were amazed that this lizard can grow up to 3m. That is longer than an adult who is lying down!

Educators like Kristine use Picture Word Cards like these to teach students to identify plant and animal species.

Turning to the picture book next, the children were drawn to the stories and catchy rhymes. Entitled “An adventure in a City in a Garden”, the book with its vivid hand-painted illustrations also encouraged them to share their personal stories. “Teacher Kristine, I have the same waterway below my house! Teacher Kristine, I saw the big lizard when my Mummy brought me to the park yesterday,” the kids would chime in excitedly.

Students spotting the White-breasted Waterhen, Common Parasol Dragonfly, Swamp Fern, and the Red Cattail.

We then turned to one of the three videos – Peeky the Pangolin explores Singapore’s wildlife. This well-made video even made my class respond to one of the characters. When Peeky encouraged them to count, they counted… loud and clear!

Days later, we went for a walk around the neighbourhood during our daily ‘outdoors’ period.  The students started pointing out all the different plants and animals they could see; before, they did not notice them much.”

The students learning about biodiversity and patterns using the Snap cards!

Other educators we spoke with shared Kristine’s enthusiasm. “I think it is a brilliant idea to introduce our children to the flora and fauna of Singapore. It should be a matter of pride and the steps taken, as I saw them today, are positive,” observed Katherine, Principal of The Little House (Montessori).

With the enthusiasm from the educators and pre-school children thus far, we are confident that the resource materials will inspire many more to take interest in Singapore’s biodiversity in the future!

Text by Nicky Ng
Photos of Kristine and her students by Kristine Olifermo
Photo of training workshop by Pedro Shiu

NParks’ preschool educational resource on Singapore, and its biodiversity is a project supported by the Garden City Fund’s Plant-A-Tree Programme (Education and Conservation) fund. Over 1,600 pre-schools in Singapore will be receiving two complimentary sets of educational resources as part of the project. The first teachers’ training was held at Singapore Botanic Gardens on 30 June 2015.
On top of working with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on the resources, we have also partnered five pre-schools on an ECDA-Innovation Guidance Project. It aims to enhance learning experiences for children, promote home-school partnerships and provide opportunities for children to contribute to society using the NParks’ preschool educational resources, and come up with ways to sustain interest and learning beyond the first year of its implementation. Teachers will be required to plan for the family and community engagement components as part of this project.
If you are interested to find out more about the educational resources, email

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