Make a dedicated play garden for kids to grow plants, enjoy sensory play and have a digging patch of their very own! Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to get stuck into gardening and enjoy outdoor play everyday.
With Spring finally here, breathing a wonderfully sunny warmth and life into everything, we have been out in the park and the garden for longer each day. When we painted flowerpots and planted some primroses last month, I realised we were going to need a proper little patch of the garden for the girls to call their own where some playful and fun learning can take place.
Next, Cakie and I went on a big-girls-only expedition to the garden centre where we picked out some low fencing on a roll, a bag of compost, a few plants and some kiddie tools.
We put the fencing around the semi-circle and left a little gap for getting in and out. She told me “you forgot the gate Mummy.” Mud overalls on and straight into the patch to dig and make “mud castles” using the bucket and new trowel!
And some mud cup-cakes of course!
We planted her choice of pretty pink flowers and planted them in her newly painted pot.
We also planted some lavender and lemon thyme to add a sensory section to the garden. Later we will move some mint over from the main garden too as well as a rosemary bush to fill the air with a lovely range of fragrances.
We added some mini-tools for digging in the mud and her trusty watering can.
Yes, she wore her wellies and a tutu. We just went with it 🙂
We brought out a pile of the pebbles that she played with the other day and she used them to do tipping, arranging and collecting with. She used her plastic tea set to have a picnic. We added a little windmill for no other reason than it was pretty and she could watch it spin in the wind!
And she poked her finger into the soil and popped in one of the pebbles, saying “I planted a seed to grow.”
We used a turned up flower pot, half of a terracotta urn and a log to begin the makings of a mini-beast habitat. We will leave them undisturbed, face down in the soil for as long as possible to attract little creatures to come and live underneath and then we will take a look at what we can find with some magnifying glasses.
I placed some of the grass that we dug up from the lawn into one of our small world trays and put it at the back of the garden space for playing with. There are some plastic toy bugs, pebbles and a flower pot to form part of the mini-garden-within-a-garden small world scene!
Baby Pop is absolutely thrilled with the whole affair and has learnt how to wildly crawl up the steps and whisk over to the area of muddy delight in a flash! I’m growing eyes in the back of my head again 🙂
* Science (Knowledge & Understanding of the World): mini-beast names, charactersitcs and habitiats/ naming,growing and caring for plants
* Sensory play: exploring the world using all of the senses
* Gross motor skills: digging, watering, chopping
* Creativity and story-telling: adding narrative to play
* Imaginative play: mud pies/ mud cakes/ grass soups/ small world insect play/ tea parties/ picnics etc
* Role play: gardening and cooking
* Emergent reading: looking at plant care labels and understanding their purpose