The Sustainability Issue
This month we are focussing on sustainability in the early childhood environment. We would like to encourage all our educators to think about sustainability and the green environment when programming and planning for children in their care.
A mobile or vertical garden is an excellent way to encourage little green fingers and create an interest in the environment. From watering and caring for the garden to planting and growing their own patch, a centre garden can be a big hit with children and staff alike, offering the opportunity to explore new activities.
The benefits of these types of gardens are immense for both the education of the children but also the fabric of the centre.
· A centre garden will increase biodiversity by providing food and a favourable habitat for birds and insects.
· Vertical gardens can shield buildings from heat, sunlight and UV rays.
· Mobile gardens are easy to move which means no space is lost for activities.
· Both are great examples of inventive re-purposing of materials, and can be constructed using plastic bottles, trolleys and wheel barrows.
More importantly, research conducted in America has shown that children who are regularly exposed to a green setting:
· concentrate and follow instructions better.
· have a higher level of self- worth.
· are more resilient during stressful times.
Create a mobile or vertical garden
· Use plastic bottles for the vertical garden.
· Wheelbarrow or old shopping trolley for the mobile garden.
· Involve families with your project by asking them to bring in plastic bottles or unused wheelbarrows or supplying plant cuttings from their gardens to plant in the new garden.
Activities which focus on sustainability link with the Early Years Learning Framework Learning Outcome 2.3 (Children become socially responsible and to show respect for the environment).
For other interesting ideas on sustainability check out the links below: