Making the greenhouse “our spot,” again

The cover crops have all been sown, the blankets of leaves are insulating our garden beds, the garlic has been planted, the Gladioli are packed away until next spring, and the pots and hoses have all been stowed, eagerly awaiting a new planting season.

There’s not much left to do in the garden, so as the temperatures begin to drop we find ourselves once again returning to the greenhouse for the next 6 or so months. Sure, things are a bit cobwebby and there are tender perennials stashed in every nook and cranny but this greenhouse, so desolate for the past 6 months, will warm up with each class that returns to it after our growing season outside. For now, it’s time to use some of the fall bounty at our fingertips!

Think about how creative opportunities like this benefit our students. There are many layers to these types of projects:

  • Kids are building fine motor skills.
  • Students are enjoying sensory stimulation through scents and tactile experiences.
  • Working side by side with classmates on a non-threatening subject allows for improved social interaction.
  • Imaginations are being built and fine-tuned.
  • Students have the opportunity to problem solve.
  • Kids that find crafting or more free-form projects frustrating have a chance to work on their coping skills and ability to self-regulate.

All of these goals are subtly being worked on, with our students’ interest and focus centered on the enjoyment and take-away of their creations.

We’re back to sharing a cup of tea at the end of class, while fall foliage, seed heads, berries and brambles are being re-imagined! Slowly, as  students’ new projects are hung around the greenhouse, and plants that have thrived in the summer sun nestle into their seasonal home, the greenhouse will become “our spot,” just as the garden has been “our spot” for the past half year.

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About Green Chimneys Garden

Green Chimneys was founded on the belief that children will benefit from their interaction with nature and animals. Horticulture comes to life in our educational school gardens, allowing Green Chimneys students to heal, learn, and grow. Learn more about about our nature-based approach to special education by visiting www.greenchimneys.org
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