Finding great learning opportunities from the environment is second nature to teachers and the space outside the classroom is full of opportunities. Gardening is becoming increasingly popular with schools, helping children to develop invaluable skills in health and well being. You may not have access to a large garden space, but you'll be surprised at the opportunities you can provide with even a small space and some basic equipment.
Unlike a traditional flower bed, a garden planter can be placed in any outdoor area, although its best if you choose an uncovered, sunny spot. They don't take up much room, but they allow children to work at an appropriate height. A herb garden, which can be personalised with the name of your school, is a great space for growing vegetables and herbs, also offering space for hanging baskets. For an engaging planting space, why not use a garden train planter or garden tractor planter, both offering great planting and play opportunities. The 24 box garden planter is perfect if you want to work with larger groups on your gardening project and it can be easily moved around on its castors.
Understanding which tool to use for which job is an important skill in the garden. With sturdy, ergonomically designed, child-sized tools, children can learn safely and comfortably. Basic tools for gardening include the long handled soil rake, the long handled shovel, the long handled hoe and the watering can. Our pack of 3 gardening hand tools is the perfect size for children to work in planters and includes a fork, trowel and rake.
Learning doesn't stop when the seeds are planted and flowers watered; learning to clear up and be responsible for their environment is just as important, so don't forget the a long handled leaf rake, long handled brush and wheelbarrow . Starting a compost heap with any organic waste is a great way for children to learn about recycling and natural processes.
Learning about the world around them comes naturally to children. Bugs life and Bug City both provide an environment that will attract insects and mini beasts so that children can observe them. A Magnify Table encourages curiosity and observation of these creepy crawlies in a safe and controlled environment. Children can use natural shape viewers to explore shapes in the natural world around them.
Developing your outdoor learning space and opportunities within it will have so many benefits for children's learning. See what else you could do by checking out our other outdoor learning resources.