What child doesn’t love playing with dirt?
The lucky kids at St Paul’s Lutheran Child Care Centre (Nundah, Queensland) now have their very own Native Adventure Play Yard where they can play with dirt and plants every day.
(In 2017 the LLL gifted a total of $105,000 to Lutheran Education Australia to use as LLL earthcare grants within Lutheran schools. St Paul's was a recipient of one of these grants, receiving $2050.)
St Paul’s used the funds to renovate an unsafe and unused area of their yard. The local community helped with the transformation, with family members, congregation members, staff and educators all pitching in to assist.
The children also participated in creating their new play yard. They helped the gardener water the grass, and they watched it grow each week. They also helped planting the citrus trees (lime, lemon and mandarin) together with the blueberry plant and passionfruit vine. The kindy kids loved digging the holes and helping the gardener move the plants from the pots to the garden.
Lee-Ann from St Paul’s described a delightful learning experience she witnessed:
“Over the next few weeks the children with their educators were planting seeds and watching them grow. Our first lot of seedlings were ready to go into the ground, however, before we were able to transplant them a worm ate them. The children and educators then talked about how they could keep the worms and bugs from eating their plants. Some of the children came up with amazing ways to stop the worms and bugs, with none of them mentioning destroying them. From this we came up with making a net to cover the seedlings and plants from the worms and bugs and making butterflies out of foil attached to a stick.”
Another fantastic adventure for the children was the opportunity to pick the sweet potatoes! The kids dug up the dirt and discovered the sweet potatoes underneath. They washed them and used the dirty water to water their other plants. They gave the potatoes to a staff member who cooked the sweet treats for them all to enjoy. What a great experience for the kids!