"The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." - Dr. Maria Montessori
Ready. Set. GROW! The children's garden is a special place where the children at Cross of Life Christian Montessori School come together to plant, tend and sow the benefits of their hard work through out the year. The garden allows the children an opportunity to not only sharpen their practical life skills but to explore the worlds of botany and zoology.
Gardening introduces the children to some of the living creatures in the soil, under rocks and on plants. Teaching children the names of the plants, vegetable and flowers, especially those that have a smell or taste allows them to make the connection between what they've grown and the food on their plate. It's a great way to teach respect for even the smallest things.
Along with the fun of getting dirty, gardening helps children learn valuable lessons about patience as they wait for vegetables to grow, responsibility as they see how necessary their care is to the garden, and even loss when flowers die at the end of a season. Children are natural nurturers and understand the importance of caring for plants and other things in the garden.
We carefully choose plants that fulfill the sensory aspect of learning; plants that are great to smell (rosemary), fun to touch (lambs ear) and good to eat (raspberries and tomatoes). The children are responsible for watering the garden, pulling the weeds, planting the plants, cleaning the bird bath, feeding the birds & composting.
One of the most important things about vegetable gardening is understanding where food comes from. The children compare and contrast the vegetables they grow to those they find in the grocery store. They also enjoy creating salads and baked goods from the items they have harvested. Children are more inclined to eat things they normally wouldn't when they've played a vital role in it's creation.