Page 56 - ALG Issue 1 2022
P. 56

                                South West
Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset
Contact if interested in volunteering with the Region
Allan Cavill
South West 07748178964
   Little Bees Nature Preschool in Bournemouth – Autumn Term Activities
 By the end of last term, we had developed an area where children can explore growing their own fruit and vegetables. We designated an area of our preschool garden, which children have learnt to respect and care for. After seeking advice and support from Lynda Clarke (Secretary of the SW Branch of the NAS and member of the Bournemouth East Allotment Society), the children were able to plant out the area, care for and successfully grow tomatoes, runner beans, squash and pumpkins. This fascinating process encompassed all areas of learning.
For communication and language,
the children were able to talk about what they already knew about growing vegetables and identify different fruit and veg using flash cards during circle time. They decided what they would like to grow and how they were going
to help. This not only helped to expand the children’s vocabulary, but it also encouraged emotional wellbeing as their opinions were valued and included in the task, helping these children take ownership of the project and to feel rewarded by the outcome.
We were able to work with the children’s emotional and social development as they took turns and worked together, sharing equipment, and taking responsibility for looking after the plants. Children were able to use their recycling scheme to great effect with these projects as they made watering cans out of milk cartons, using old welly boots to plant early spring bulbs, and helping to give our resident scarecrow a makeover!
Mathematical language was used
in abundance during this project as the children discussed the size, the quantity, and patterns of each row of plants they placed in the soil. Then, once harvested, they discovered how many of each they had grown, counting them out and cutting up the produce to
discover what was inside and how many seeds they could find. The children were able to build on their knowledge
of healthy eating and increase their understanding of where food comes from and, during craft, they created paintings of their pumpkins contributing to our Autumn Display.
To encourage their emerging literacy, we have labelled all of the pots the children have planted from seed, asking the children if they recognise letters from their names, along with using
our surroundings in mark making. Our Senior Practitioner, Julie Williams, created an amazing story bag for the book ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’, featuring some of the vegetables they had grown and reaching every area of learning, even including sensory bags filled with learning opportunities for the children.
Of course, the children have been able to develop their physical skills: digging, carrying, balancing, bending and reaching, together with fine motor skills as they so carefully touch seedlings
and young plants. They used scissors
Children were able to use their recycling scheme to great effect
and spoons to dissect produce and during Halloween were able to decorate pumpkins and mash one up for messy play!
All in all, we have had an extremely busy and fun term with the children being able to remember each process and understand the cycle of life as what started out to be little seeds and baby plants becoming tasty and attractive produce.
The most amazing thing is that this project is sustainable, affordable and a constant source of wonder for the children.
Adele Hartwell, Manager
     56 Allotment and Leisure Gardener
 Welcome to our new members...
Crantock Allotment Association
Leigh On Mendip Allotment Association Pucklechurch Allotment Association 11 individuals

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