Sunday, 16 June 2013

How the garden grows

One of the best parts of returning regularly to the same place is to see how it changes over time... the garden close to the preschool (named "The Snail Park" by the children and us as we have found so many snails there) has turned into a jungle - everything seems to be suddenly taller than the children - and now there is also a HUGE ocean of Iris attracting bees and other flying insects to marvel at.

The beauty with different kinds of weather is that there is always something to discover - on wet and damp days there are plenty of snails, on dry days there are seeding dandelion heads to blow and beetles to look for. Finding things is such a great way to share experiences - to learn about social interactions

here you can see just how tall everything has grown... the children felt very adventurous making their way through the greenery ...

and nature is always so amazing to look at, to find new details each time you are there - like how plants will wind their way up stalks of other plants to reach the sunlight... the whole idea of #lookclosely - the need to slow down... and by visiting the same place we give children, and ourselves the opportunity/possibility to slow down and see things up close...
I think it is an important aspect of learning to return to the same place and to allow children to discover the changes - and as this post shows, you do not have to have a forest school to do this... this little patch of green was a small public space between the shops and the underground station... and yet it provided countless natural experiences for the children. They learned about weather, the seasons, about the natural cycles of plants... shoots, leaves, flowers, seeds and repeat... they learned about the animals that came to this area - the snails, the birds and sometimes squirrels... going to larger natural areas gave us more natural diversity...

The returning to the same space also meant that the children became comfortable with the space... they felt safe there, so energy was spent on play, learning and exploring rather than getting to know the space. New locations are fun, but returning to the same space offers another type of learning.

here are some more photos of the same space...
space for fairy exploration and imagination

a space for social interaction - making up new games together

a space for art... for discovering science and the self

snails... featured big... and gave us the opportunity to explore friendship, expectation, empathy, dealing with fears, learning about nature etc etc etc

space to think outside the box... to challenge the body... risky play

and to find more things to challenge

to doscover that surfaces change with the weather... from dry, to wet to frozen and slippery

the steps down to the garden offered many different opportunities for play, and rest and chatting with friends

loose parts could always be found

colour exploration over the seasons

visiting the same space allowed the children to play with scary ideas...

texture, sensory exploration

taking art out, and exploring the space in a new way... sometimes dress up clothes, or chalk or....

different seasons... and also the chance to be a part of the world... to meet others...

This post was updated and posted again on June 13th 2018.

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