Gardening and growing are both educational and healthy for all children. Children’s first experiences with gardening is to be made fun and successful. Children are curious about bugs, worms, insects and sprouting seeds, including mud/soil play. Our children have their own plot of garden which appeals to all senses, including herbs such as mint, coriander, thyme and basil. Our sensory garden is designed to stimulate children’s five senses (taste, sight, touch, smell, hear) which support both their physical and psychological health.
We understand the importance of the children’s outdoor environment therefore we offer a wide range of interests to encourage their enthusiasm in nature. Children have the freedom to explore their outdoor environment and learn about nature and support their basic skills and understanding of how the whole of the eco-system works.
Our garden contains seating area for children to sit, flowers, vegetables, grasses and plants that children use to investigate their findings and record data for group discussion and for further activities. We involve children in choosing what to grow in their garden and also what plants they would like to take home e.g. sunflowers. Appropriate garden tools are provided for little green fingers to dig, plant and water. Children are also encouraged to take their plants home to nurture and see their continuing growth. Having a camera at the ready has proved to be valuable to collate evidence for further investigation of the children’s finding and changes in the environment around them.
Activities such as seasonal stories, wall displays, studying the water cycle, recording seasonal changes, creating national habitats for wildlife i.e. ladybird and insect towers, bird feeders, insect corner and measuring plant heights. Children are encouraged to create collages and wall displays using natural resources such as leaves, straw and twigs.
All of these areas support the national curriculum and help to extend the children’s learning through knowledge and understanding of the world.