Today we started work on building a sensory GarDEN around the digging pit. This is going to be a place that the preschooler can sit and dig and let himself be surrounded by lots of sights, sounds and smells in his little garden. It’s going to be right next to the mud kitchen and sand pit, making this part of the garden well and truly kid’s teritory!
Although only in the very early stages (we only started today) this is already generating a lot of excitement between the children and they are loving getting in and getting their hands dirty… kind of. The preschooler has been enjoying gardening with me but he still tends to prefer staying on the clean side of mud. And I may be the only mum in the world who wants her son to get covered in mud… I just think he would enjoy it! So the sensory GarDEN is for him! I used The Little Book of Growing things for inspiration and this is what I’ve done so far:
- I marked a large letter ‘C’ in the soil inside the digging pit. The open part of the C shape was going to be the door but actually once the canes were in, any of the gaps could be made into a door.
- I secured 6 2metre bamboo canes into a teepee shape around the C shape simply by pushing the canes into the mud and sloping them towards the middle of the C shape.
- I used fabric strips to tie the canes and secure them. The loose ends are to scare birds away and to represent flags! We will probably tie more fabric to the top later to make it brighter… perhaps we will add a real flag!
- We planted a mixture of Sweet pea (for colour and scent) and runner beans into pots and placed them at alternate intervals around the digging pit. I’m hoping the result will be a nice combination of colour and greenery.
- I placed weather-proof toys inside the digging pit, along with buckets and spades for digging.
- I hung a chalkboard watering schedule for the Big One to keep up to date. I want her to take responsibility for watering, training and thinning the plants as they grow.
As the plants grow, they will form a lovely sensory den for the children to play inside- I can’t wait!
Next I will:
- keep an eye on the plants and when they start to grow, I will train them around the canes.
- plant some Love in the Mist- these have rattly seed pods that the preschooler will love shaking.
- plant some Lavender and Chocolate Cosmos for some lovely smells.
- plant some mint and other herbs for both smelling and for trying in new foods.
- introduce the Broad beans and Nasturtiums that we planted in Plenty Pots.
I also intend to use the sensory GarDEN as part of our outdoor messy play station. I already have the mud kitchen plans and the sand pit waiting to go up. Oh, and not forgetting the water wall and busy fence! I’m looking for an old Lego Duplo board for the fence and old pots and pans for the kitchen. Looks like the garden is well on it’s way to becoming a place where the kids will want to be this summer!
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