• Have dispositions and motivation to learn. What can be more exciting than sowing, growing, harvesting?
• Gain in self-confidence. Growing, harvesting, sharing and eating is rewarding, develops self-esteem and care and consideration for others
• Form relationships and work as part of a group. Watering, weeding and picking involve teamwork, and self-control
• Manage hygiene – Working outside involves practice in care of self – washing hands
• Interact with others, speaking, listening and thinking. Growing things outdoors involves lots of conversation and planning. When and how do we sow, feed and harvest?
• Extend vocabulary related to gardening
• Have movement and space. Growing things requires a range of large muscle and fine motor control: from digging the soil to picking out seedlings
• Have health and body awareness. Growing things helps children learn what can be safely eaten and what is poisonous. They can learn about the goodness and good taste of fresh produce just picked. They will learn about healthy eating.
• Using equipment and materials
There are lot of opportunities to use a range of tools and to handle different materials – from earth to plants and little creatures. Growing things is an ideal way to learn to manage risks and use tools safely
• Numbers and calculation. Counting your seeds and produce, and sharing it out
• Use mathematical ideas to solve practical problems. e.g. This hose is too short to reach those beds – what can I do? I need more soil for this bed – how do I move it from there to here?
• Recognise and recreate simple patterns. e.g. How many petals does that flower have? Planting all in row
• Use language to describe mathematical concepts – position, shape, size, weight e.g. This carrot is short and pointy and grew in the ground but the marrow is long and grew on top of the soil. Those apples are round and above my head. Your watering can is heavier because it has more water in it
• Read and write simple words So many new things to see and learn to say and write and read – labels for the plants, tools and storage, shopping lists, recipes
Understanding the World
• Explore and investigate objects and materials using all senses. Being with the elements of earth, air, water, the changing weather and seasons and growing your own food gives so much to investigate using touch, taste, and smell
• Observe and find out features of living things and events. There is a lot to see and notice – how are the birds and insects supporting or harming the plants you are growing?
• Ask questions about why and how things happen and how they work e.g. Why do bees like flowers? What happens to the plants if the soil dries out or if there is a late frost?
• Select tools and techniques, build and construct. e.g. Can we build something to collect water from the shed roof to water our plants? What can we use to transport soil/produce as needed?