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Adventures in our new Forest Garden!

Our children are learning so much in their new garden!

June 27, 2024

WOW WOW WOW!

Our new forest garden area is looking absolutely fantastic and the amount of learning through play that is taking place is wonderful. The garden is full of communication and language through lots of conversation, questions, teamwork planning, problem solving, role play and laughter. The children are articulating their thoughts through interesting and creative vocabulary throughout all the different varieties of play.

The children are developing their physical skills through exploring the balance beams, mud kitchen and tyres. On the balance beams they have discovered that they can sit on their bottoms and shuffle along the beams or ask for someone to help by holding their hand. On the tyres they are exploring balance and jumping, deperate to be able to jump from one tyre to the next! They are also building their muscles and strength through investigating the mud kitchen and mud digging area. The children are using a rake to loosen the soil and then spades to dig it up to use in the mud kitchen.

The imaginative play happening in the garden is also wonderful to see. Children are playing kings and queens in the wooden castles, playing mums and babies pretending they are out on trips together, playing hide and seek and peek and boo and lots lots more!

The area also provides a fantastic setting to explore literacy together, sitting around the story circle sharing books and telling our own stories.

There is an abundance of maths happening, including counting pine cones and rolling them and measuring the distance. They are exploring the mathematical concepts of size, length, weight and capacity through pretend cooking in the mud kitchen and comparing the shapes and sizes of different plants and leaves that they are collecting as ‘ingredients’, talking about which pots and pans are the heaviest and lightest. They are also looking for the right ingredients to ‘fill’ their cooking pots and talking about when they are ‘half full’.

The garden also lends itself to ‘understanding the world’ where the some of the main areas of learning are around: Children using all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials. Exploring collections of materials with similar and/or different properties and talking about what they see, using a wide vocabulary.

We are planning art activities to extend the children’s exploration further, such as creating nature art on the wide tree trunks, creating butterfly patterns on fabric using natural materials the children can collect from the area and lots more.

There has also been lots of teamwork and kindness between the different ages as they share the garden area together. For example the older children encouraging the younger children to join their games and join their exploration. Children helping eachother to balance and climb, planning how to use the digging area as a team. There has been so much conversation and laughter in the area as children work together to play. To top it off – it’s a lovely shaded area to enjoy a little cool air whilst the sun is shining too!

Last but not least – we also have our ducks to care for! The children are very keen to help sort the ducks water, food and bedding. They are asking SO many questions about the ducks and appear to really enjoy watching them forage around for bugs and wash themselves in their pond. It turns out that we have two girl ducks and one boy duck! (It’s quite tricky to tell them apart when they are little)

Thank you to all the families who offered their time and help to get this garden set up for the children to enjoy.