Preparing the Outdoor Environment

PREPARING THE OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT

Purpose:
To introduce activities which direct the child’s attention toward plant life.
To raise the child’s awareness of plants, their needs and their importance to the earth and to us.

Age:
3+ years

Materials:
Tools for digging, hoeing, planting, raking, weeding, watering, harvesting and composting.

Presentation:
If possible establish a garden in the outdoor environment.
This garden should be beautiful and functional.
Children enjoy eating their produce.
Children can help prepare the ground by digging and hoeing, then planting.
They can also maintain the garden by weeding, watering and eventually harvesting any crops.
Plants may be started inside and then later replanted outside.
In the fall, raking is a good activity. Maintaining a compost helps to promote the idea of not wasting.
In addition, you can plant in order to attract animals and birds.
This will allow the children an opportunity to observe the animals feeding.
Take nature walks which emphasize a sensorial experience for the children.
Encourage the children to find their specimens from the ground so as not to harm a living sample.
Take time to explore and share with the children the living world around them which will help instill respect and interest in plant life.

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