The Importance of Connecting Children to the Outdoors in School Gardens

Author: Micaela Murphy, Blackshear Bridge Sustainability Educator, November 2018



School gardens are becoming more prominent as they’re rich learning environments where children
ignite their imaginations, take part in explorations and where discoveries are made! It’s also a place for
children to escape the rigors of traditional education and allows for much needed unstructured outdoor
time. Here they’re provided the opportunity to learn about nature while experiencing its growth side by
side. And when children have access to gardens in their communities they’re empowered to cultivate
the earth by growing their own food, increasing their knowledge of nutrition and healthy food options and become environmental stewards. Time spent in school gardens is invaluable, as children then associate what they’ve learned and grown to healthy meal options for food consumption.

2019 girlsplantingcarrotsThis fall semester Blackshear students were eager to take ownership of the garden by caring for plants and the creatures that share its home. Through weeding, planting, mulching, and insect identification children learned and understood the importance of teamwork. Their senses were awakened as there was much to smell, touch, see and taste in our outdoor learning environment. While having the chance to express their feelings through writings and drawings, we incorporated literacy and the arts by encouraging creativity.

I’m looking forward to picking up where we left off during spring enrichment
classes as it’s always a vibrant time to be in the garden!


(Photos: Green Linx Spider, Blackshear Garden Enrichment Students Planting Carrot Seeds, Monarch Caterpillars, Photo Credits: Micaela Murphy)

Easy At-Home Garden Activity: Paper Herbal Sachets

Materials Needed: Small envelope or recycled paper for folding, tape or glue to seal envelope closed, scissors, mint, rosemary, or lavender plant.

  1. Gather or make a small envelope out of recycled paper. 2. If you already have an envelope handy, simply punch a few holes into the envelope, this will allow for the scent to escape. 3. Take your children to a garden, guide them to rosemary, lavender, and mint. 4. Encourage them to choose their herbal scent and clip a piece or two then place it into the small envelope. 5. Seal with a piece of tape, glue or simply fold close. And you have an energizing or calming herbal sachet to enjoy!
15a photo (15)

Mint in Blackshear’s Friendly Garden – Ready for harvesting and drying for tea. 



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