What can children learn from the garden?

Have you ever noticed how young children are drawn instinctively to nature and authentic experiences? Children are born with an innate  curiousity. They love to get their hands dirty and learn by doing and taking part. According to Pennie Brownlee, we all learn through our senses but young children learn exclusively through their senses. It is therefore so important for their development to have real rich experiences (Magic Places, 2004).

What better way to demonstrate cycles of life and the wonder of tiny miracles, than planting seeds and bulbs, weeding and repotting. We live in urban Auckland city and have a small postage stamp garden so we have in the past, used pots and trays to grow fruit and vegetables. The delight on my eldest daughters face when she grew, cared for, and picked her first strawberries was wonderful to watch. Now though, our garden is a mess and has been neglected so we need to have a weed and repot and plant some bulbs ready for the spring! Yes it is confusing (I’m a northern hemisphere girl by birth) we live in the southern hemisphere so we are currently enjoying our autumn!

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“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them” A.A. Milne

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“To see a world in a grain of sand

And Heaven in a wild flower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour”

William Blake

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