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Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience

A blog post by Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre

Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre came third in our Pocket Garden Design Contest with their 'Child who would be King, posh picnic' garden. They've written a blog about their experience growing their garden from design to reality, and we'd like to share it with you.

The Pocket Garden experience has been a phenomenal learning experience for all of the children and staff. To quote “Every day is a school day” is accurate for children and staff learning together along the way. Children have developed many skills on this journey nurturing and caring for plants, learning where our food comes from. Creativity and using practical life skills such as carpentry, painting and design. Problem solving, and the use of fine and large motor control skills, balance and co-ordination have been present when moving filling and planting our area.

We had so much fun tasting our produce and sharing with our families.

Lindsey, our Equity and Excellence Lead, added that she had enjoyed the social skills and working together as a team that our project has created. It has enhanced and developed speech and language skills, and staff have noted extended and increased vocabulary from the children. Staff and children have enjoyed being immersed in nature, and the positive effects that this has had on our mental health, mood and well-being. Children with significant additional support needs have been involved, and have enjoyed watering and caring for our garden and the sensory aspects this has given them. We have created a lasting sensory growing area to our garden that all children can enjoy. 

Our Eco committee of children, from our baby room through to the age of 5, have learned all about sustainability, growing edible plants and “reducing , re-using  and recycling” rubbish waste and re-purposing items to grow plants and attract wildlife to our garden. One of our children commented that our garden is “alive with bees and beasties everywhere” while another said “its okay we can share our strawberries with the birds” which is wonderful.

We loved learning about where our food comes from.

The project has provided the children with another area to stimulate their creativity and curiosity to learn about the natural world. Staff have gained many skills along the way and have been amazed by our achievement in creating our pocket garden. Staff member, Practitioner Morag has now been converted into a keen gardener. Creating a herb garden at home with her new skills, she admitted at the start of the project she “couldn’t keep any plants alive” but now has more confidence and knowledge in leading learning in the garden. 

Practitioner Christine said “taking part was such an enjoyable learning experience for all involved. The Kings Coronation celebration was a historic moment in our lives and gave us chance to learn about our monarch. The children learned the importance Eco aspects close to the Kings heart and how we all can play our part in caring for our planet. Children loved growing and understanding where their food comes from. They had such excitement when tasting new vegetables and taking home lettuce and radish to enjoy with their families. As the Eco champion in the centre this has given us many learning opportunities, with the children and to get the families involved. We are so happy to play our part at Flowerbank in “Keeping Scotland Beautiful”.

We celebrate winning 3rd place in the Pocket Garden 2023 competition.

If you would like to see Flowerbank's Pocket Garden or any of the other winning designs you can visit our Pocket Garden Showcase.

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