Friday, 3 April 2009

Our Garden

Our garden at school is small, but full of wonderful things the children can do. The garden can be accessed directly from my class, so the children have free access to it. We have the same ground rules for the garden as indoors, except that they are allowed to run [and they can't inside]. The children are free to choose whether they want to work with an activity inside, or take it out. They have their daily plans inside and all know that they can spend the time wherever they want as long as they're responsible for completing their daily plans, this is my way of keeping the balance for those children who would rather just run all day. Here are some more pictures of the garden:

This is a climbing frame that we got made especially for the garden. We have a selection of works, continents and other learning cards stuck on it.
In this sand [mud] pit we have lots of mud, water and other strange things growing. The children like to add stones to it and mix it with a spade. They use a wheelbarrow to transport the mud from the logs area to this mud pit. This is where we will be putting our tadpoles soon. Sorry that I don't have a picture of it when its open. On the wall you can see some pegs, that's where cloths are hung to dry.
This is our vegetable patch. The children plant in it each year and they pick and eat from it. This year they have planted radish, carrots and cabbage.
This is the log area, a favourite for the young and old. They climb these logs, walk along them, roll them about and take off the bark. We have loads of fungi growing in between them and the children like to count and observe them. Beneath these logs live plenty of creepy crawlies and many beetles.
This is the compost bin where the children throw the food waste.
This is a bamboo plant that they planted years ago. The children love to break off sticks from this and then make kites and other structures with them.
This is called THE BOAT, it's supposed to be a walking beam for the children but they prefer to pretend its a boat and sit inside it. The wooden pillar in the middle has the children's height marked on it.
This is a walking beam that was made for the children. Little-N thinks its a crocodile!

In the garden we also have a small slide and a large sandpit that they can sit in. We have the Community Play Things building blocks which the children use to build structures that they can actually walk or climb on. We have a few shelve units with various practical life activities for the children to work with. There is a selection of rakes, spades, buckets, watering cans, wheelbarrow and other planting patches where the children dig freely.


Lindart said...

Lovely play area! How do you manage supervision between indoors and outdoors? Do dome children play all day without coming into the environment? Would that be allowed?

N from the Learning Ark said...

Hi Linda,

My class is mostly normalised and the children know what the ground rules are and follow them. This makes the supervision in and out easy for me. Often I am working with a child inside while some children are working outside or vice versa. The children seem to remind each other about the ground rules and at times I may put one child in charge. So far it's been fine with 6 children, but as soon as we have 10-15 children we will have to have anther adult to supervise outside.
I haven't had a child spend all day outside yet with this age group, it was more common in the 3-6 class. If the weather is really good, they'll take things from the indoor environment out. We even move tables and specific materials out. If a child does spend the day outside, I'll leave them for a few days and then perhaps put something in the indoor environment that I know will bring them in. Or take what they need outside to them.
One of my children recently said 'It's so nice to practice my handwriting outside'.