Today we took another trip to the garden centre to choose some onion sets and potatoes to plant. We bought some Crocus and Iris plants in the sale as well, to plant by the nature pond that we will be build next week. We spent some time looking at the different varieties of potatoes and onions and in the end the children decided that red was best and selected varieties that would be red once grown!
After we stopped for a drink and cake in the cafe, we came home and popped out the back to the allotment area. I have been turning over the soil over the winter and mixing in some of our chicken manure so I hope the soil will be good for our veggies!
We took our gardening tools and wheelbarrows with us and set about enjoying some time just digging and turning over the soil. We talked about the different bugs that we found in and around the veg bed. We pulled out any weeds we found and discussed why we did not want them in with the vegetables.
Little "R" had a lovely time filling buckets and moving them from veg bed to veg bed. Tipping pouring and re-filling as she went. She has a real interest in gathering things in bags, baskets and buckets. This has been going on for about 6 months or so now. I often find little bag of goddies. She also positions items in a nest shape around her, making spaces and enclosures to play in.
Heather and her mindees from "Looking out for the little people" joined us in the allotment and we worked on their plots as well. We talked about how we had prepared the soil and made it full of goodness to help our vegetables grow big and strong.
Baby "M" sat on a rug and played with bits of bark, watched the birds and chatted with little "R".
We found some fantastic worms! Big ones that we could look at closely and see the clear sections that we read about in our book. We also found centipedes and snails.
Once the soil was well dug and the trench had been made, we read the spacing instructions on the back of the potato pack. The children placed the potatoes in to the ground but in only one area so we talked about the spacing and how they needed room to spread out their roots and grow big.
Once they were spread out we decided they needed covering up. They used all their tools to pull the soil over. We made a mound in the centre of the bed so that as the potatoes start to grow up through the soil, we can keep covering them up and hopefully get lots of yummy potatoes.
We planted the onions on the other side of the bed and left their little tops poking out of the soil.
LEARNING INTENTIONS AND IDEAS FOR EXPANDING LEARNING:
We will continue to check on and tend to our veggie beds. Talk about the changes we see as the grow and eventually harvest them. We will then look at recipes that they might like to cook using the fresh ingredients.
I will offer a mud tray in the garden with dried beans and seeds, pots and labels for the children to role play this activity and in doing so, help them to secure their learning and understanding.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Both little "R" and little "L" enjoy digging in the mud and especially enjoy filling and transferring things in pots and buckets. This gave them a great place to practice this and held their interest, keeping them motivated and engaged.
We have been doing a lot of planting the past few weeks. Using different methods but still talking about the similarities. They used their understanding of the needs of plants to anticipate what we needed to do next. Following a sequence of dig, plant, cover and water.
They were not keen to touch the bugs but remembered things we had learnt about the worms during our time setting up the wormery last week. This encouraged conversation about what a worm eats and how they live underground. They enjoyed this activity and are keen to come back and check on the plants.
Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas