As natural play continues to dominate the education sector, more Schools than ever are incorporating wild gardens into their grounds to support the national curriculum. From Early Years through to Primary education, learning about the natural environment is key across a number of core subjects, and builds an affection for nature that can be carried into adulthood. Now taking children out of the classroom and allowing them to explore the natural world around them is believed to improve their self-esteem and build confidence, whilst supporting their learning.
Each School environment is home to a whole range of living creatures. By providing the right habitats you can greatly increase the amount of wildlife that visits your playground, which can be incorporated into your lesson plans. We understand that not every School or Nursery has a large amount of outside space, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be transformed into a haven for mini beasts and other wildlife.
Bug Hotels are small, yet packed full of space to build different habitats and nests for a variety of mini beasts! Try mixing the materials to create a versatile hub that will appeal to a wide range of creatures. You could use straw, dry leaves, twigs or even bricks with holes in, then wait and see which mini beasts they attract!
Teach children about the importance of conservation with a Mini Beast Box. The box is designed to be filled with soil, shavings, rocks and sticks to create the perfect environment for surrounding wildlife to visit. Complete with a transparent viewing panel to encourage children to look through and discover the wildlife inside, it is the perfect addition to any natural play area!
Budding explorers and adventurers will love the opportunity to get a closer look at what they find in the garden, so a Magnifying Post is the perfect addition to fuel their curiosity. Carefully place the item or creature in the gap, then get up close and personal!
Use planters to sow wildflower seeds and see what pollinators they attract! From bees to butterflies, pollinators are essential to fertilise plants and help them reproduce. Why not take your science lesson outside to learn about the lifecycle of plants and the important role that insects play?
Encourage birds to visit your garden by adding feeders around the garden. You can make your own seed balls during a lesson whilst teaching the importance of caring for wildlife. Turn it into a game with Birdwatch Bingo and check each day to see which birds make an appearance. Not only will this help keep track of the birds that visit, it can be used to teach biodiversity in your local area.
Provide all kinds of exciting educational opportunities by looking at pond ecosystems! There is a whole new world to discover beneath the water to further their understanding of nature. Try fun pond dipping exercises to find out what lies under the surface, or observe the insects that live around the pond and see what else you can find! If there isn’t a pond available on site, incorporate a Pond Life feature to bring the ecosystem to them!
Creating a wild garden doesn’t have to cost the earth, take inspiration from our guide and together with Sovereign create a wild garden that works for your space. If you would like further advice please contact us today using the form below or call 01702 804299 to speak with one of our experts.