Friday, November 12, 2010

Sarah Langi comes to visit.

This week Sarah Langi (Nelson Environment Centre) came to catch up with us at kindergarten. The children were keen to show her our worm farm and we were delighted to hear her say "This is very healthy indeed". I was excited because sometimes I had not really known what I was doing at all. We then emptied the bottom layer of the farm and collected the worm wees or liquid gold as people in the know call it. We diluted this down and then used it as fertiliser on our own Mt Wharepapa iti ( where we have recently planted grasses on the mound behind the slide).
At mat time Sarah brought her own worm farm to teach us more about caring for ours. We certainly learned some fascinating facts about worms, for instance they have no eyes, and baby worms grow in a cocoon which caused a bit of confusion for some children.
Sarah then handed out trays of worms for all the children to look at . The looks of fascination on the childrens faces was brilliant to watch. If you want to know more about worm farming ,feel free to come and ask and also ask your child to show you ours.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A magic place

We often talk about Nelson as a beautiful place to live and a recent newspaper survey has shown that Stoke is a very popular place to live too.  You no sooner walk out your door and you can be cycling the hills, walking the beach or exploring the arts and cafes.
We sometimes forget to look even closer still at the beautiful things around us, and that is just what we did at kindergarten this week.  Check out our beautiful flowers and trees, have you noticed them inside the kindergarten grounds?

The children are always very keen to help us look after the gardens, to water and plant.  They now have a magical playground, which is very natural and beautiful to play in everyday.  The plants are now attracting birds back into the playground and different smells happen as the children explore the many special places.
Rolling down the tunnel and off into the flaxes, travelling down the yellow slide and passing under the flax leaves.  Pushing through the plant forest beside the tunnel and out onto the stone pit, creates lots of different smells and textures brushing over your skin.

Climbing Mt Wharepapa Iti and looking into the distance to see Mt Wharepapa (Mt Arthur stands regally over the Nelson Area).  We are thinking about writing a legend about how our little mountain arrived here and the children are now showing an interest after planting their grasses on the mountain.

When summertime comes we are blessed with a natural shade canopy to protect us all from the sun.  The trees growing in our playground have been here for generations before us, especially the pear tree which is now 50+ years old.

We no longer climb the pear tree as we want it to stand strong for a long time to come.
The children are allowed to nestle in the natural alcove that the branches form at the bottom of the tree.

Sarah from Nelson City Council visited today to checkout our worm farm and bokashi and she thinks our environment should be an "Enviro School" right now.

Take the time to enjoy the natural playground, and remember adults have permission to play in it too.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle

At kindergarten our committment to sustainable practices can be seen as we compost our food and garden waste, feed our garden with the goodness produced by our worm farm and the bokashi bins. We reuse some of our un named paintings by over painting them and using them as backgrounds for screenprinting and drawing. We encourage no waste lunch boxes and are experts in using all kinds of recycled materials for construction and other play.
Our recent excursion to the recycling centre was an opportunity to get a bigger picture of what happens to the rubbish we generate in our homes each day.
It was also an opportunity for children to connect with the wider world of work as we met Noahs Dad and Uncle who work at the recycling centre. We saw the shop where items are sorted for resale and reuse and then the shed which is filled with plastic, glass, card paper and tins to be sorted and sent off to plants around NZ to be remade into other products such as buckets, rulers,egg cartons and roading material. We saw the hopper where items destined for the landfill are crushed in preparation. Coming back to kindergarten with items from the reuse shop we were full of ideas for possible uses. Will there be a robot or a pirate ship at kindergarten soon ? We will see.