It is well documented that children learn best through experiences they are interested in. Therefore, to actively engage a child in learning activities, early learning centres often now offer a range of hands-on experiences to allow children to explore and learn through play.
Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure Mermaid Waters has chosen to place this at the core of their philosophy, to best enhance every child’s learning journey.
“We have selected educators who are skilled in specialised areas which support children to learn through experiences they are interested in,” explains Caroline Macfarlane, Centre Director at Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure Mermaid Waters. “This way, we can cater for each and every child, no matter where their exploration takes them that day.”
One of the most successful activities this innovative centre has implemented so far is their gardening program.
“Research has shown the educational benefits to all children who are engaged in gardening experiences is remarkable,” says Caroline. “Our Gardening Club is hugely popular, and supports children to develop new skills, gain confidence and have fun.”
“Through caring for plants, children learn responsibility and respect for the environment,” continues Caroline. “The opportunity to reason and discover about the science of plants, animals, nutrition and weather is also promoted. During this experience, the children are physically active and are open to trying new foods that they have helped to grow together.”
Not only does gardening educate children in caring for plants, but also how sustainable practices can be explored through growing their own food, and how that makes it to their plate.
“Mr Rick, our Chef, regularly requires fresh herbs from the garden for his recipes,” says Caroline. “One afternoon he asked the children if they could help him pick fresh rosemary to include in the roast beef he was preparing, they were more than happy to join him. They took a trip to the Junior Kindy herb gardens and used some scissors to cut the herbs for the meal. Mr Rick spoke to the children about what he was using them for and the children couldn’t wait to taste the end product! This opened up so many conversations and had the children explore some concepts such as sustainable practices and science concepts.”
For more information on Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure Mermaid Waters, call (07) 5551 6711 or visit sanctuarylearning.com.au