At Little Inspirations students learn by doing, observing, and experimenting. Our garden and food experiences are centered on these principles. The goal is to connect the students to the nature around them and the food they eat. We accomplish this with three major components.
Growing and caring for a garden
Hands-on art, building, cooking, and experiments
Students have monthly nature walks into Nichols Park. In winter, we enjoy snow, mud, ice or frost. We observe the buds and branches on the trees. In Spring, our park awakens and we observe the buds opening and trees leafing out, the grass greening, and first flowers blooming. We watch as wildlife comes back to our park. In summer, our mini hill is an opportunity to run up and roll down. We enjoy the sun and explore the wildflower garden as it blooms and in its peak. In fall, we gather and jump in leaves while watching the leaves change from green to yellows, reds, orange and brown. We learn about our park and its seasons by watching and interacting with nature over time.
Students plan, plant, water, harvest and eat from the garden. They plant herbs, edible flowers, and both annual and perennial food crops. Through their care, the garden becomes an abundant source of materials for students’ outdoor kitchen explorations, art and culinary experiences. They taste, smell, feel, watch, and play with its flowers, leaves, seeds, and beauty they grew.
Just as powerful, the students assist our butterfly expert in raising butterflies from egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and finally butterfly. Each butterfly is named and released in our playground. They gain an appreciation of the butterflies, worms, beetles, and bees that pollinate, protect, and enrich our garden.
In our nature play area, students use nature in art, building, experimentation, and imaginative play. Kids build with blocks and pipes, explore water and sand, observe insects under logs, and learn by doing, making mistakes, and trying again. They sing, read stories, and create art outside.
In all these activities, students are working to understand the world through their play!