Forever Friends edible garden
At Forever Friends ELC and Kindergarten Sunbury, we strive to provide a learning program that teaches our children, educators and families the value of healthy eating as well as respecting nature within the world we live. The children are currently showing an amazing interest and awareness of our garden spaces. This has lead us to providing them with more garden beds in the form of recycled fruit boxes and tyres. The children are learning about our environment as well as daily effects of it through planting, nurturing, harvesting, then preparing the vegetables and sharing cooking experiences directly in our classrooms and our outdoor yard. When educators create environments in which children experience mutually enjoyable, caring and respectful relationships with people and the environment, children respond accordingly. When children participate collaboratively in everyday routines, events and experiences and have opportunities to contribute to decisions, they learn to live interpedently.(The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia)
We recognise opportunities to encourage children to explore and respect relationships with other living things. We have an active worm farm and use the worm juice on our garden regularly. We have used recycled tyres and hanging baskets to create garden beds of flowers and shrubs for the birds’ bees and butterflies.We made a scarecrow for our garden then spoke about our scarecrow scaring the birds away from the vegetable patch; this meant the birds had to find another food source. We know that birds cannot go to the supermarket; however, they are still living things and should be treated respectfully. We decided it would be kind to provide the birds with some food. We decided to make birdseed feeders out of pinecones that were collected by one of our educators, and hang them in our trees away from our garden.We encourage children to be actively involved with composting scraps from the kitchen and garden .We also add Alpaca manure to our compost regularly to help it break down. Mina saves eggshells from our kitchen that we use to keep snails off the garden rather then harmful chemicals. Early years learning framework outcome 2 community; Children are connected to and contribute to their world when they become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
We provide opportunities for the Children to grow pick and eat herbs, fruit, salad and vegetables on a regular basis. This helps to teach them that fresh is best and not all food has to come in a plastic package.The children provide Mina our chef with herbs from our garden to use in our meals. We engage children with cooking experiences, both in the room and outdoors using fresh produce from the garden when possible. To encourage our families to be involved, we have provided an information area dedicated to fussy eating. Within this area we show case what the children have been doing in the garden. We believe children are more likely to try new foods if they are involved with the entire growing experience. We also provide healthy and nutritional recipes for the families to take home. Early years learning framework outcome 3; Children have a strong sense of wellbeing and take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing when they show an increased awareness of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition and are happy, healthy, safe and are connected to others.
We encourage children to use natural light wherever possible and have sky lights and large windows in our rooms. All of our windows are fitted with blinds. Our heating systems run on 20 all year round.We discuss the benefits of turning off lights and using less power. We also use our excess drinking water and hand washing water on our garden. We are hoping to get a water tank for our garden which will be gravity fed.We use a clothes line to dry our bibs and blankets to reduce our power consumption. Early years learning framework outcome 2 community;Children are connected to and contribute to their world when they develop an awareness of the impact of human activity on environments and the interdependence of living things.
We encourage indoor/outdoor play everyday.We recognise opportunities to provide quiet areas both indoors and outdoors.As well as our regular active play areas we have designed areas out of fallen tree branches where the children can sit and feel a part of nature. We practice yoga outside with the children on a regular basis .We believe some of the many benefits of children learning yoga are; • Develop body awareness • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, and healthy movement • Build concentration • Increase their confidence and positive self-image • Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group • Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices Early Years Learning Framework outcome 3 Wellbeing ; Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing when they seek out and accept new challenges, make new discoveries, and celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others.
Eating locally grown food or food from our garden is good for us and the environment. It’s fresh, ripe and doesn’t need to travel.
WE ARE CELEBRATING ENVIROWEEK
Making a special newsletter with all our Enviroweek work to share.