What is a Backyard Teaching Garden anyway?
When I mention these 3 words together, I often hear, “I don’t have money to spend on transforming my yard into a fancy fun-land for kids.” Some parents share, “I don’t have the time or a green thumb, but I want to use my backyard space.” Rethinking how we use our outdoor spaces at our homes could be the key to getting through this global pandemic.
Backyard Teaching Gardens can be backyards, sideyards, windowsills, and/or porches. These spaces are anywhere outside of your home where children have access to nature. Backyard Teaching Gardens are one-of-a-kind and can be created on a shoe-string budget. They may include one or all four types of gardens: Gardens that Feed, Gardens that Attract Wildlife, Gardens for Art and Beauty, and Gardens as Outdoor Learning Stations. Creating a Backyard Teaching Garden is easy and fun especially when you involve your children.
Utilizing your outdoor space for teaching & learning can be the key to getting through this global epidemic.
Here are my 5 Easy Tricks to transforming your backyard into your own Teaching Garden.
Create a Gathering Space.
Establishing an outdoor gathering space is one of the first steps to making an Outdoor Classroom and/or Backyard Teaching Garden. These spaces offer a destination to simply read a book outdoors, listen to nature, or begin an outdoor lesson. Outdoor gathering spaces are vital elements to transforming any outdoor space into a teaching and learning space. Read more.
2. Establish a Sit Spot for each child
3. Make a Space for Outdoor Art Projects
Add an outdoor table to your space. This simple addition will allow your children to create messy art. Don’t stop there. Add a clothesline to hang art outdoors.
4. Choose a Tree
Ask children to pick a favorite tree outdoors. Learn about the type of tree. Is it an evergreen tree? A fruit tree? or a tree that flowers? Observing a tree through the seasons is simple and offers children a little ownership of their landscape.
5. Create Outdoor Destinations for Learning
I call these Gardens as Outdoor Learning Stations. These are gardens are inspired by themes such as a Mud Kitchen, Rock Garden, Miniature Garden, Sensory Garden, Alphabet Garden, Water Wall and so many more. These garden connect curriculum to the Outdoor Classroom and Backyard Teaching Garden.
Now I want to hear from you. How are you transforming your outdoor space into an Outdoor Classroom and/or Backyard Teaching Garden? Share your ideas and pictures with us in the Outdoor Classrooms Facebook Group.