Lessons are always being learnt in the garden. Last Summer we failed to produce any pumpkins or zucchini's because the flowers were being picked and used as decorations for some seriously amazing, competition worthy mud pies.
Plant life cycles were discussed with students in the garden with a focus on pollination and flowers so it was understood that the flowers have a purpose and are not there just to look pretty - which they do.
The students needed a flower garden that could be used for these and other creative ways, like perfume potions, snail salads, head crowns and boquets for the teachers.
Grade 2 students were encouraged to plant flower seedlings and seeds in a dedicated area to create a flower garden just for them - and yes to be picked. If they proved they could nurture and care for their plants, in return we would purchase some bird houses or similar for them to add to their flower garden. Lunchtimes developed into a little flower club ranging from Prep to 6!
Weeks went by and the flower garden was being nurtured, soon becoming a fairy garden that included a gym, a cafe, movie cinema, library. A whole fairy city had been created.
Our friends at the Chelsea Men's Shed were delighted to make some little houses from recycled timber for the flower garden. Grade 6 students assisted in attaching the houses to stakes. The preps dug holes for the stakes, and of course the Grade 2 took charge as foremen and directed them where to go.
To see friendship circles across the year levels forming over flowers and faeries and the sharing of houses and flowers. . We decided to install a couple of letterboxes to encourage literacy via letter writing - bringing more imagination into the garden.
Today, Fairy Fushia replied after she discovered a letter during her flying lessons!
Grades 2,3 and 4 have spent 3 weeks learning in the garden this term. They have learnt about worms and looked at their bodies under magnifying glasses. They are experimenting with seeds and how they grow, planted seeds for comparison growths and planted out lots and lots of seedlings.
Winter/spring veggie plantings consist of carrots, broccoli, beetroots, lettuces, onions, cabbages and herbs. The biggest thrill for the grade 2's has been creating a new strawberry patch.
BAMBOO and LOGS - Kids at play.
Everyday, logs used as garden edge were turned upside down by eager kids looking for bugs and beetles. We decided rather than putting these logs back in place each day, to give the kids their own logs. We waited until some local cut down a tree and had it cut into pieces small enough to handle. We also have a local family who grow bamboo, and often drop 3m lengths off for use in the garden.
We left the logs and bamboo in the garden for the kids to discover! First they created a log maze, then we found a water fountain, a cafe, a fort, an open fire.....it changes every day and it's amazing to see what their imagination brings each day.
Bamboo was made into giant tee-pee's and structures, and eventually climbing frames for our peas.
Nature Play encourages kids social development. It gives them opportunities to learn how to work in groups, including learning how to share, how to negotiate and how to resolve conflicts, and problem solve together. Achievements are celebrated and not so successful attempts are re-negotiated until they are happy with their masterpiece. Check out some of the imaginative nature play in our garden...
A visual diary of the garden at Bonbeach Primary School built by Growing Green Thumbs & many many little hands
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