Rebirthing Eden one block at a time
Children's gardening plays an elemental role in our efforts to birth a gentler world. The snaps below were taken during children's gardening workshops around Whiteaker.
Remember the children
The best way to get families involved is to get them involved. Once we had the germ of the idea for a kid's gardening program, a planning meeting with moms and dads and helpers on how to continue the workshops kicked off our first day in the garden with the children. We had no idea who was going to turn up. Or how many. Then, what sort of schedule works? Who wants to help?
Planning with the kids
The event was advertised by word of mouth, on noticeboards around the 'hood and through email.
Planning with the kids
We prepped each workshop around particular activities and themes, attempting a delicate balance between keeping the kids engaged and letting them run the show. After our first planning meeting, the kids, parents and helpers wound their way into the garden...
Some of the team had prior experience working with kids in the garden. Other adults, including a helper or two, were totally in the dark and very nervous about their own lack of familiarity with the garden and/or with children's activities.
Checking it out
That's okay, we find that kid's gardening is very often as much about grown-ups getting over their shyness in the garden, as it is for the kids.
Father and son
That's the way it's meant to be, perhaps.
Whoa, whassup?
We tried activities based on our past experiences, what we've picked from reading the excellent texts on children's gardening that are available, and winging it.Grown-ups with gardening knowhow helped the kids touch, smell and taste life in the garden.
Incoming worm!
Worms are essential to healthy soil communities and they're lotsa fun. Introducing the kids to worms and to the facts of worm lifestyles is close to top of our list of priorities. Here, check it out!
Wow. That ain't so bad!
Some children are squeamish at first, but bascially, kids love worms. Soon everybody wants to hold one.
Lemme hold 'em, too!
But ya can actually do stuff with worms! How about building a worm bin? All we need is a bucket, some newspaper and some kitchen scraps.
The Professor appears
Every workshop we go back and check the wormbin. Kids get to see how wormcomposting works. Getting kids involved in composting can help introduce them to an understanding of the cylces of life. Wow! This is fun!
Look here!
What are you doing? How does this work? The grown-ups are curious. Can we see, too?
Lemme see! Lemme see!
Then, of course, there's always storytelling. Kids' lit is one of the richest literatures of all when it comes to learning about plants and animals.
Everyone loves a story
Living in and around gardens, it's easier helping kids make the garden a natural part of their living-scape - especially when strawberries are in season! Throughout the year we also organized one-off kids' events, too: role-playing, walks and theater. The kids' gardening troupe developed an identity all its own: a couple of events involved lotsa planning and rehearsals for the grown-ups involved. Donning costumes was all part of the fun.
Fairies at play
Wherever we are able, we try to make the gardens welcoming for the children. The plants and the grown-ups seem to love it, too!
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