by Kerry Cue
According to the NY Times (Screen addition is taking its toll on children, Jane Brody, 6 July, 2015) screen time is eating away children’s lives. We, The Sibyls, are so concerned we have asked the question ‘How did childhood become a prison sentence’ and what can we, grandparents, do about it? One answer is, grandchildren need more time in the outdoors. But we also need to listen to the kids.
I went to a talk by Michelle Rayner,environmental educator and Vice Principal Patch Primary School, Victoria. Before the school developed a substantial part of their garden they asked not only what the kids wanted in a garden but they also asked the kids to design it. Here are the 10 things the kids wanted in a garden:
- Place to Build Stuff
- A meeting place & stage
- Pizza oven and garden
- Secluded spaces (hideyholes)
- Edible plants
- Play space
Here is a video of The Patch School’s kid-friendly, Eco-garden:The Learning Landscape
The garden now boasts a frog bog (water), ducks, chickens, rabbits and mice,
a construction area (Even 5 year olds use hammers),
a native grass maze, central meeting place and stage, pizza oven and garden (Michelle has cooked a hundred pizzas in one day!!!), student sculptures and other art works, a willow den (like below) , fruit trees and a veggie patch, and lots of play spaces.
Photo source: The Patch Website, screen grabs from above video, pinterest.
Link: Quote Top from A Passion for this Earth ,Valerie Andrews.
Helen Elliott says
Perfect. And timely. What lucky children. Every child should aspire to a willow den, just the words themselves suggest the mystery and privacy that children crave.
the sibyls says
Thanks Helen, this school garden is truly inspiring especially when you think how many schools in Australia have fake grass, asphalt and shade cloth instead of a garden. Sibyl Kerry