Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Caterpillar and The Spider

Today my gardening colleague and I took a few of our 'left over' children into our car-parking area (its fully gated and locked with only our two cars - don't panic!).
We were pruning our Geraniums and our African Daisy and our Hibiscus and whatever else we happened to have ...
We found a teeny tiny caterpillar!
And we also found a St. Andrew's Cross Spider but the photo wasnt the best and then my colleague accidentally pruned where the web was! We will go back and look to see if she builds again.
My student said to me "We found two natures" ... and we did ... the caterpillar and the spider.
I love, LOVE, gardening with children. I love helping to connect them with nature and life. And this afternoon was truly special. Watching Miss Five and her sister Miss Two using scissors to prune - snip at leaves in helping us ... discovering little creatures, admiring the flowers, learning about their names Echivera, African Daisy, Geranium etc ...
I loved watching Miss Two concentrate so much on snipping the leaves. While it wasn't the best outcome for the hibiscus - I was pruning it anyway! - she concentrated so hard! She was so proud of herself as she asked me to look at her work! She was developing her fine motor skills, her concentration, her hand eye coordination ... she was learning to care for plants and "give them a haircut" so that they will grow stronger, greener, healthier ...
I loved watching Miss Five pick flowers for Miss Apprehensive who didn't want to garden, but loved sitting on the safe sidelines where she could collect and guard the flower collection. She could pick the African Daisies off the plants we'd pulled up ... Miss Five was supporting Miss Apprehensive's choice to sit to the side. Miss Five was showing she has strong empathy for her younger peers, a skill she's developed as a big sister and a member of a strong cultural family.
Where to next? Well, I'm thinking we'll bring a few out in small groups to do some observational drawings of the plants we have. I'm also pondering letting them use our camera to take some photos. As we only have one camera for now - we have to guard it well!
We don't have many plants in our playground - but we do have a garden area which we have started working on. We are adding organic matter to the soil to prepare it for planting - its just too dry and won't hold moisture. We've got grand plans!
We are going to use some of the Geranium cuttings to grow new plants which the children can take home themselves and care for should they choose. This way we can share with the children how we can grow some plants from cuttings, some from leaves, some from seeds etc.
I'm going to strongly encourage the staff to take the children to our garden area more often ... It's been sadly neglected and once our line is fixed, we can hang out our laundry, start our compost, develop more garden beds etc ...
All on our journey to being more sustainable! I would love to see this be a daily occurrence!
This my friends is the EYLF in action ... it's relationships, it's community, it's purposeful activity, its learning through doing, spontaneous actions, caring for nature, plants, animals, creatures ... its part of being a team with adults and children ...

I had such a good afternoon. I just feel at peace with myself and the world, and I wonder if the children are at home feeling the same glow? They certainly seemed to have a glow about them as we worked.

© Teacher’s Ink. 2012  All Rights Reserved


  1. Awesome! I love our vege patch and gardening with the children. I gain such peace from being with the vegies, chooks and children here in my service :-)

    1. I loved our gardening and garden work ... I totally agree - it was peace-full and insightful!