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Edible Playgrounds – The Outdoor Learning Project to Harness Your Children’s Sense of Wonder for Nature

March 13, 2018, 12:16 GMT+1
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  • The Charity Trees for Cities is offering schools in Merseyside the opportunity harness their children’s sense of wonder for the great outdoors, while also teaching them some valuable lessons about health and nutrition in the process
Edible Playgrounds – The Outdoor Learning Project to Harness Your Children’s Sense of Wonder for Nature

Few things are more amazing than planting tiny seeds with your own hands, watching the shoots and buds grow before your eyes. Sadly, many children miss out on this experience and don’t understand where their food comes from. Edible Playgrounds give children the chance to learn about the true origins of the food they eat, while also providing a different, deeper thrill to what speedy modern life has to offer…

Healthier lifestyles

Children are busier and more stressed than ever before. Anxiety is more common, and attention spans are getting shorter. Studies show that spending time outdoors, soaking in nature, not only improves attention, but also has a soothing effect on children’s mental health. What’s more, research by the Royal Horticultural Society has found that gardening in schools can help children to develop ‘A more resilient, confident and responsible approach to life’. This shines through with Edible Playgrounds. 70% of the schools we surveyed said the immersive and fun outdoor spaces have supported their work with students who have SEN and challenging behaviour.

Making learning fun

Playing outside and getting muddy is fun! With urban life leaving us cocooned in concrete, today’s children often miss out on the freedom to roam around their natural environment. Edible Playgrounds give children the chance to enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer, whilst learning about the world around them in a fun, engaging way. Beyond the teaching of gardening and healthy eating, teachers have used them as a backdrop to maths, English, science and art lessons. Headteachers have also observed Edible Playgrounds leading to shifts in behaviours, resulting in more positive attitudes towards healthy eating and improvements in social skills.

Brighter futures

Edible Playgrounds have given children a chance to work together in a fresh and exciting environment. The natural surroundings have enabled many children to develop their confidence, communicate more effectively and improve their team building skills. This can not only help set them on the right path for their future careers, but also help them to become happy, productive members of society who enjoy building relationships with other people. 56% of teachers at participating schools have noticed increased confidence in children’s behaviour after participating in activities held within an Edible Playground.

For more information about Trees for Cities’ Edible Playgrounds initiative, visit edibleplaygrounds.org.

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