Being outdoors is a great learning environment for your child. Not only is it fun and exciting, it is a great opportunity for your child to learn about the vital aspects of taking care of things, being responsible and seeing the life cycle of plants. It is also a great bonding experience to do with your child as well as therapeutic to be out in the fresh air!
1. Make your own Vegetable & Herb Garden
Planting vegetables and herbs is a wonderful way to teach children the life cycle of where some foods come from. Vegetables such as radishes, will sprout in 3-5 days and can be harvested in 30 days! Other good options are zucchini, peas, pumpkins, carrots, and lettuce.
2. Cook a Meal with your Homegrown Vegetables
Cooking a meal with the vegetables and herbs you have grown is an excellent activity and great way to learn about nutrition. There are so many meals and snacks you can create e.g. pizza with the basil and tomatoes you have grown, salads, baked potatoes, carrot cake and much more. This teaches children the whole process from farm to table!
3. Pressed Flowers & Leaves Artwork
Go on a backyard plant exploration to collect colourful leaves & flowers to press and preserve. You can use a plant press or create your own by using squares of corrugated cardboard, sheets of newspaper and/or blotting paper.
4. Garden Maintenance: Weeding & Watering the Garden
Teaching your child to keep a clean and well looked after environment is very important. They will learn that in order for plants to prosper and grow, the earth and soil needs to be cared for, the weeds should be removed, and everything needs to be watered to survive. Raking leaves can also lead to many interesting discussions about the season!
5. Making a Flower Arrangement
Who doesn’t love a flower arrangement? Especially if it’s from your own garden. Picking and choosing certain flowers and leaves allows room for creativity; and discussions such as: should we give the flowers to someone special? Where should we display them? What do they smell like?
Children also learn skills such as pouring, measuring and cutting!
6. Composting Food Scraps
Composting teaches children to live sustainably. It is also a great way to teach kids about recycling and turning a waste product into something valuable. Composting organic material instead of sending it to landfill not only helps us improve our environment, but also creates a valuable resource that we can use in our gardens. Another great option for food scraps is a worm farm!
7. Painting outside utilising old vegetables to make painting blocks
Painting in the garden utilising old vegetables! Cutting old vegetables in half & etching different unique patterns & shapes is a great way to be resourceful and get creative. The children can create a variety of lovely shapes and patterns when they lightly dip the vegetable blocks into paint. You can also use wooden blocks and tie some string around the blocks to create texture.
8. Create a Gardening Journal
In their journal, let them document what they planted and when they planted it. Have children draw pictures of the different bugs they saw in the garden, what flowers they picked, what they cooked using home grown vegetables and much more!
We love answering questions about play based learning. To book a tour of an Explorers centre, please follow the link below or call us on 1300 000 335.