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Gardening in Schools


Mar 23 2017

Gardening in schools is becoming more and more popular and has been proven to really enhance a child’s learning experience.  Typically, within early years’ reception classrooms, children have access to both an indoor and outdoor learning environment with free flow between both.

It is often the children who find it hard to concentrate and engage inside classrooms, who really come into their own in outdoor environments.

Contact with the natural world can also be incredibly nurturing for children, as they make connections with the natural environment, learn about life cycles of nature, seasons and begin to find out more about where their food comes from.

Being outside is an incredibly beneficial experience for all children and gardening provides a useful and focused activity which helps children develop a better understanding of the world around them.

There is so much choice with gardening. Children can choose to plant so many different things and it can continue all year round with different species of plants which thrive in different seasons.

You do need to consider school holidays when selecting which plants and vegetables to grow. Who will look after them while school is closed? Are they the type of plant that will survive without much care and attention? 

Why Grow Vegetables & Plants in Schools?

Children learn so much from growing vegetables. They learn about the nutrition vegetables provide, the soil and nutrients needed to help grow the vegetables. They learn about the life cycle of plants, the season changes and the types of insects that live in the habitat. 

Growing vegetables is fun for children, but it helps teach valuable lessons surrounding the hard work put into growing them.

It also helps generate an interest into healthy eating. It can be a real struggle to get children to eat healthy foods, but when they grow their own food they are far more engaged than when it is just handed to them on a plate at lunch time.

When selecting vegetables to grow you should consider starting with easy and quick solutions – carrots, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, strawberries are ideal.

They harvest relatively quickly which will enable you to maintain the interest of children. A vegetable that takes too long may well mean you lose their interest and enthusiasm for the activity.  

Plants add colour and vibrancy to any outdoor learning environment and they also generate wonderful topics to learn about. 

As with vegetables you can learn about the different species, the seasons, the natural environment plants need to help them grow. It also allows you to talk about our need for plants and trees in the world.

You can talk about different plants that only grow in certain countries and climates. There is so much to talk about during gardening activities. 

You can talk about different plants that only grow in certain countries and climates. There is so much to talk about during gardening activities.

It can also help to create subjects and discussions within other lessons such as English, maths, science, geography, art and design, food technology and physical education.

Recycling

Gardening is ideal for getting kids into recycling too. You can use all sorts of old and unused bits and bobs that are laying around.

You can use empty bottles and cups, old bowls and buckets. All these things can be used to plant seeds which can be kept indoors until they are old and big enough to be moved to the great outdoors. 

At ELF, we offer some great solutions to help you get started with gardening. 

Our Indoor/Outdoor Mini Garden provides a space for children to grow their own seeds and look after plants.

It can be used in conjunction with the School Planter, which is perfect to transfer seedlings to for continued growth and care.

Check out our Spring Activities For Children for some fun things you can do in the garden. 

We are experts in early years’ education resources including classroom furniture, school dining furniture and school play equipment. For more information about our products, please contact us or call us on 01733 511121