One of the delights of working in early years education is the immense reward that seeing young faces open in wonder and awe at seeing something that they'd not experienced before. Which is why it's so important that our children at our Canada Water nursery and preschool have such an amazing resource on their doorstep - Surrey Docks Farm in Southwark.
It's there as a centrepiece of our cultural capital and understanding the world elements of our early years curriculum, alongside the museum of london docklands in canary wharf and the brunel museum, helping young Blue Dragons and Dragon Flight children see farm animals for the first time, and talking about our responsibilities to the planet, to the animals within it and where food comes from in agriculture. In this blog, we run through some of the key out takes of urban city farms and what they can do / offer young children from the urban landscape....If that sounds like you, book in and come and see us...
Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility
Promoting environmental awareness and responsibility is a crucial aspect of city farms for city preschool children. These farms provide an opportunity for children to learn about the importance of taking care of the environment and the impact their actions have on nature. By engaging in activities such as planting and gardening, children develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment and learn how their actions can contribute to a healthier planet.
In addition to hands-on activities, city farms often offer educational programs and workshops that focus on environmental conservation. These programs teach children about the importance of recycling, conserving water, and reducing waste. By instilling these values from a young age, city farms play a significant role in shaping environmentally conscious individuals.
Enhancing Physical and Mental Well-being
City farms provide a unique opportunity for city preschool children to engage in physical activities and connect with nature. The farm environment offers ample space for running, jumping, and exploring, allowing children to develop their gross motor skills and improve their overall physical fitness.
Moreover, spending time in nature has been proven to have numerous mental health benefits. The calming effect of green spaces and the opportunity to interact with animals can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote emotional well-being. City farms offer a safe and nurturing environment where children can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the therapeutic effects of nature.
Fostering Hands-on Learning and Education
City farms provide a hands-on learning experience for city preschool children. Through various activities such as feeding animals, planting seeds, and harvesting crops, children learn about the life cycles of plants and animals, the importance of nutrition, and the concept of sustainability.
These hands-on experiences not only enhance their understanding of the natural world but also promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By observing and interacting with animals and plants, children develop a curiosity for learning and a deeper appreciation for the environment.
Building Community and Social Connections
City farms serve as a hub for community engagement and social connections. They bring together people from diverse backgrounds and provide a platform for interaction and collaboration. City preschool children, along with their families, can participate in community events, workshops, and volunteer programs, fostering a sense of belonging and community spirit.
These interactions also provide an opportunity for children to develop social skills, empathy, and understanding of different cultures. By working together on farm-related activities, children learn the value of teamwork and cooperation, essential skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Creating Sustainable Food Systems
City farms play a vital role in creating sustainable food systems. By growing their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, city preschool children learn about the importance of fresh and healthy food choices. They gain an understanding of where food comes from and the process it takes to reach their plates.
Furthermore, city farms often promote sustainable farming practices such as composting, organic gardening, and water conservation. These practices not only reduce the environmental impact but also teach children about the importance of sustainable agriculture and its role in ensuring food security for future generations.