Today we visited a local garden centre with our friends at "looking out for the little people". We thought it would be a good way to introduce the children to Spring, gardens and plants. These are the things we will be looking at over the Spring season.
The children had a lovely time looking at the garden buildings, fencing, trellis, water butts and compost bins. They asked questions about things that they saw and we answered them as best we could.
The garden ornaments held their attention for a long time. Especially the bird baths. We explained that birds need to drink and that they like to have baths like we do. This is a special bath for the birds which we can put in our gardens.
There was lots of finger dipping. They told me it was cold! Little "R" didn't seem to mind the cold and dipped her hands in as many bird baths as possible.
Little "I" chatted with the stone animals. She gave this dog a little kiss. Sadly I missed that with the camera.
We found lots of lovely colourful flowers. I asked the children which they liked the best. They chose differently to each other. Little "R" liked the lilac and white ones because they were pretty. Little "I" chose the purple and white ones because they had yellow middles. I told them that the pink ones were my favourite as pink is my very best colour!
We had told the children that they could all choose a pack of seeds to grow, while we were here. They were very keen to find the seeds and spent quite a while choosing which ones they would like. We talked about whether they wanted to grow a plant or a vegetable to eat. They told me the vegetables that they enjoy eating and the ones they do not like. Carrots seemed to be a big hit many of the children. I chose some colourful Kale as I thought it would be nice to see the rainbow colours and that might encourage the children to try it once we had grown it.
After a really good look around, paying for our items and then a walk through the bird feeder section, we made our way to the cafe for a drink and slice of chocolate brownie!
This was a really lovely social time where the children talked about their seeds, looked at each others packets, talked about the things we had just seen in the garden centre and what we were going to do with our seeds over the next few weeks.
LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:
I will follow this outing up by setting up a role play Garden Centre and introducing magnifying glasses and minibeasts. I will offer a selection of fiction and non-fiction books for the children to look at to support their learning of this topic. The role play area will have a till and play money so that children can recreate the shopping process and take turns to be customer and shop keeper.
We will plant our seeds and then tend to them. Noting how they change and grow. Exploring the parts of a plant. Roots, stem, leaves, flower, petals.
I will offer some muddy sensory play with seeds and pots as well as garden tools so that the children can practice planting seeds.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
All of the children enjoyed our trip to the Garden centre.They listened to the rules we set in place to keep them safe. Stay together and do not run around. They were engaged and interested to know about the different things that were sold in the garden centre. Asking what a compost bin was for and how a water butt worked. They made their own choices and selections when choosing seeds and shared their personal likes and dislikes. All of the children were focused and interested in learning about gardens and planting.
Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas