- Engage Stakeholders: Involve parents, teachers, and community members in the planning process to build support and ensure the garden aligns with the afterschool program's goals.
- Start Small: Begin with a manageable garden space and simple gardening activities, gradually expanding as the program gains momentum and student interest grows.
- Design Theme Gardens: Create theme gardens, such as a sensory garden or a pollinator garden, to provide diverse learning opportunities and sensory experiences.
- Tailor Activities: Adapt gardening activities to accommodate various age groups and abilities, ensuring that all participants can actively engage in the garden.
- Hands-On Learning: Use the garden as a hands-on learning environment, incorporating science, math, and environmental lessons into gardening activities.
- Cultivate Creativity: Encourage artistic expression by incorporating garden-related art projects, such as garden sculptures or nature-inspired crafts.
- Healthy Snacks: Use harvested produce to promote healthy eating habits, offering fresh snacks or hosting cooking activities with garden-grown ingredients.
- Environmental Stewardship: Teach students about environmental stewardship and sustainability through composting, water conservation, and eco-friendly gardening practices.
- Garden Journals: Have students keep garden journals to document their experiences, observations, and reflections throughout the gardening journey.
- Community Events: Host garden-related events, such as garden tours, harvest celebrations, or family gardening days, to involve the broader community and showcase the program's impact.
By incorporating a garden into an afterschool program, educators can create a dynamic and enriching environment that promotes active learning, fosters a connection with nature, and encourages positive health and environmental habits among participants.
For more information or to implement a garden program in your school, contact Damon Carr: