Kids at Home Goes Green October: Gardening with Lorraine
Kids at Home The Bay
The beauty of gardening in a home-based programme with low ratios is that you can involve children in every step of the way! "Great things grow from small beginnings", Educator Lorraine has planned a wonderful block on 'The Environment' for October where she will be educating her care children on growing food, plants to encourage bees and butterflies, and of course the process of recycling food scraps.
1. What are we going to grow?
Lorraine has been collecting New World's 'Great little gardens' collection and raising the seeds with her care children to prepare them for the garden.
Germination is an AMAZING process and no skill is required to plant a seed to sprout. Involving children in the process of planting and daily nurturing and monitoring of a seed within the home is a fantastic science experiment for young children.
The fine motor activity of planting a seed can also be a counting exercise, for older children math learning can be extended even further by giving them a ruler and asking them to space the seeds along a row.
This process is best supported with resources such as picture books from your local library to illustrate the process.
2. A trip to the hardware store!
'The children were so helpful and interested in all of the garden supplies and equipment. We took along a list which was part of planning to help us find just what we needed for our 'Little Garden' environment study'
Another great learning opportunity in this process venturing out into the community! A visit to the local store is an opportunity to put social skills learnt within the home to practice, remembering "please" and "thank-you" while asking for help at the store and lending a helping hand with the items on the list. When it comes time to unpack the car, encourage good manners by asking children to lend a hand carrying a small item back into the house.
3. Ready to plant!
'All ready to start our block on The Environment'
Marking all items off their list the plants are ready to be put into the soil in the garden by Lorraine and her care children. What items do we have and what is the purpose of each item? Digging in the dirt is a simple sensory activity that can give way to major learning and so much fun! (Holding a wriggling worm is an experience not to be missed!).
Allowing the children to be involved using your garden trowel if need be is acknowledging the importance of the work they are doing.
4. Watering and nurturing
Watering is often a child's favourite chore in the garden! Using a hose, a watering can or perhaps a bottle of water with a spritzer, these are all great ways to develop gross motor skills while giving children a special responsibility of their own.
Tracking growth is where the science is continued outside! Measuring and marking how tall a plant has gotten, counting what has grown on the plant, or perhaps monitoring the colour of some delicious strawberries before deciding they are ready to be picked for a tasty snack!
We are looking forward to following Lorraine's gorgeous garden project with her care children and are thankful for this special learning journey she is guiding them through! To visit Lorraine's Kids at Home profile and learn more about the fun and educational programme she offers please click HERE.