Getting back to nature is very important for children. It helps them to feel calm and relaxed, while exploring and developing their curiosity. Our inquisitive and enthusiastic children and educators participated in National Tree Day at the end of July.
National Tree Day was an opportunity for us as an educational service to teach children to positively contribute to the wider community and the environment by connecting with nature. Our children certainly displayed a keen interest in planting and enjoyed the many layers of learning that growing offers.
Our keen gardeners felt valued and validated when they:
- chose plants
- prepared soil and growing areas getting their hands dirty
- explored all the worms and bugs that live around plants
- discovered the needs of plants, (eg. sunshine, water and care)
- practiced many new plant names and language
- worked collaboratively alongside others and in groups
- explored all the textures and sensory qualities of their new herbs, plants and soil.
Our “extra” recent growing opportunities were also linked with our worm farm and themes of sustainability. We used the opportunity of visiting a local café to collect used coffee grinds as fertiliser and adding to the worm farm as well as using tonic from our onsite worm farms to promote plant growth.
Our budding gardeners certainly had a fun and busy week but the learning and growing doesn’t stop here. We look forward to the process of caring and tendering our crops and enjoying the times when we can harvest, cook, eat and reflect on the process from the “paddock to the plate.”
EYLF Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
*Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
If you’re keen to get your little ones out to explore and learn in the garden, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Plant sunflowers. Sunflowers are not only fast growing, but a beautiful addition to any garden and your child will see results in less than a week. Just make sure the children water them.
- Make a mini worm farm. Use a plastic bottle, sand and dirt plus some dark paper to discover what worms do when they are under the ground.
- Recycle your kitchen waste into food. Avocado seeds, celery bases, potato peels, pineapple tops, garlic cloves and onion bottoms can all be grown into new vegetables.
Visit www.kidspot.com.au to find out more about these and other fun outdoor activities.