Gardening provides purposeful experiences that connect with nature. Tamariki expand their vocabulary as they become kaitiaki – caring for land, plants and small creatures. Harvesting food rewards perseverance, responsibility and contribution.
Why do it?
- Gardening provides an opportunity for play that is both purposeful and messy.
- It’s something to enjoy outside in the fresh air.
- You can be close to nature and observe and talk about the natural world.
- There are things to find out about and observe, including how plants grow, what happens when seeds are put into the soil, how they grow, and how they are harvested.
- There’s a lot to talk about in the garden so it offers another opportunity for language development and for learning garden-related words.
- Vegetables grown in the garden can be eaten at family meals, making a practical contribution to the family.
How to do it
How to do it / Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi:
- You’ll need some soil, a place in the garden or in a container with holes in the bottom (for drainage), seeds and water
- Seeds can be bought or can even be collected from plants that have gone to seed
- Ask your tamaiti what they think a seed needs to grow
- Include them in the whole process of caring for seeds – watching, noticing, watering, sheltering, protecting from pests, transplanting, harvesting and then hopefully eating!
- Notice what insects visit the garden and talk about why insects need plants and why plants need insects
- In early spring, plant a bulb in a container and leave on a sunny windowsill. Keep it watered. Ask your tamaiti what they think will happen.
- Read picture books about growth, for example, ‘Jack and the beanstalk’, ‘The Carrot Seed’ (Ruth Kraus), ‘Growing Vegetable Soup’ (Ruth Ehlert)
- Notice and talk about the life cycle of a butterfly. Read ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’
Using more reo Māori
|Te reo Māori
|To make grow
|Te wā hauhake