Learning with and about nature

The natural world provides children with endless opportunities to explore, experience and learn. Engaging with the beauty and wonder of a natural environment offers a range of benefits and can help to relax, inspire, and boost the physical and mental health of young children.

Outcome 2 of the Early Years Learning Framework supports children becoming socially responsible and respectful of their environments. Our educators regularly provide meaningful hands-on learning experiences for children to get involved with nature and become environmentally responsible. Some of these may include.

  • Growing vegetables and herbs
  • Collecting food scrapes for our worm farm and compost
  • Providing children with a range of natural materials in their environment.
  • Exploring the connection between land, people, plants, and animals
  • Teaching about and modelling 7R’s of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle, respect, repair, reflect and refuse.
garden1

Gardening

Studies have shown that there are many benefits of introducing gardening to children. Through garden play, children acquire and improve crucial skills, have fun, and develop self-confidence while enjoying a nature-friendly childhood. Caring for something, nurturing its growth, and developing a positive relationship with nature are some of the most important skills and opportunities practiced in gardening. When educators introduce children to plants and gardens, they foster a respect for environment, helping them learn about natural materials and their own health and wellbeing.

Through gardening children can learn:

  • Science and nature when exploring plants and animals living in garden.
  • Math skills when counting scoops of dirt.
  • They are exposed to reading, writing, and drawing through stories, books, and activities, such as creating a garden journal.
  • Social skills are supported by working with other children and adults.

Worm farms and compost bin

We set up a worm farm and compost bin in our garden. It's not just a fun, hands-on learning experience for children, but also a great way to care for our environment by reducing waste. Children can explore sustainability at different levels in a super interactive way. They can closely observe how worms turn organic kitchen waste into fertilizers.