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Tuesday
Oct252011

What Kind of School Garden Might Work for You?

Today’s picture is of a Story Garden, and as you take a moment and sit in this garden, perhaps you can day-dream about what the garden in your own program might one day look like!

On Saturday October 22 I presented at the Painting the Future Conference held at Foothill College which focused on the importance of children being outside! The Keynote Speaker was Eric Nelson who is the director of The Outdoor Classroom Project. Eric’s address “Restoring the Wonder and Joy of Childhood through the Outdoor Classroom” was a passionate talk from the heart. He believes as I do, and research supports this, that children need unstructured time to explore the outdoor world. Teachers are facilitators, and environment should be thoughtfully set-up to inspire young learners. It was really interesting to learn from Eric, that children spend less than 2% of their outdoor time on structures. Which makes me wonder—what else is in the outdoor environment in your program that sparks the curiosity and imagination of the young child?

My workshop was about Sprouting Food Memories in Early Learning from Garden to Outdoor Kitchen, and I focused on inspiring educators to think about where they might tuck a garden into their program, or expand the one they already have. For the last nine years it had been my great fortune to have had access to gardens to support my work with children both as a chef and an educator.

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