Social-Emotional Development: Let It Grow
Lessons in Social-Emotional development in the garden (ages 4-5).
It can be so tempting to the Pre-K children to pick the beautiful flower buds and growing fruit. Does giving flowers mean we care? Can we pick the fruit, eventually? We teachers completely understand where the confusion originates. To help our children understand that we should respect our natural environment, we involved them in creating our ‘DO NOT PICK’ signs. With safety gloves and a sanding block the children got to sand and prep the stakes. Next they attached the sign to the stake with zip ties. Finally, they got to swing the hammer to put up the signs.
After this week long activity—with LOTS of discussion— there was so much less picking! We encourage the children to show us the beautiful flowers they find - to bring us to the flower, instead of the flower to us. It is important for us to follow the children when they have things to share with us - they are excited and we want to foster that empathy and caring. This is a continuing conversation we have all year as we notice new things popping up in our yard.