From the day a child is born he or she will have a strong desire to find out about the material world: chewing and sucking a toy; splashing in the bath; cuddling up to a soft teddy or a softer mum or dad; dropping toys and listening to the satisfactory noises they make when they hit the hard floor; 'finger painting' with food on their high chair tray. All these experiences provide playful means of finding out about the material world in which we live. When the child leaves the safety of their home another world of materials opens before them:

Once children arrive in school they will continue to enjoy activities that allow them to play with, explore and come to understand some of the properties of the materials. Their questions will give rise to investigations that will focus on how the material looks, feels, how it behaves, how it can be changed.