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.