Growing & Cooking in Nursery 2016
In Nursery we roasted our pumpkins with garlic, cinnamon, fresh sage and bay leaves for our School’s “One World Tea Afternoon.”
The aim of the tea is to celebrate and bring together all the diverse families in our school community and celebrate with food from around the world.
The Nursery children had grown from seeds our pumpkins and sage plants.
The children had learnt lots about growing and caring for plants. Nursery staff know how to use activities to maximise learning in different areas of the curriculum. We have also grown this year carrots, leeks, radishes, courgettes, peas, beans, different fruit berries and a range of herbs.
Our school promotes education for sustainable development so we used rain water collected from our water butts to water our vegetable beds.
We waited and watched our vegetable plants grow, observing them change.
When they were ready to harvest nursery staff extended learning by talking about how the different vegetables were the same and different. Introducing new words and helping the children to express themselves using scientific and mathematical language. We named the different vegetables and noticed how their colours, shapes and sizes were different. We helped the children to make connections in their understanding by remembering when we planted the seeds and how we had watered them and how they had grown. We talked about the different parts of the plant – leaf, stem, roots, fruit, petals etc.
The children enjoyed co-operating & working together to harvest the pumpkins.
They also enjoyed picking sage leaves and smelling them.
When preparing the pumpkins for cooking the children used their senses to discover and explore – taste, touch, smell and sight. These activities were carefully planned and set up so the children could widen their understanding of the world around them. For example we set up a “smell experiment” arranging the different herbs and spices for the children to smell and comment on. We supported them to describe & discriminate between the different smells.
We used specialized tools and equipment to extend the children’s learning for example magnifying glasses to help them see the seeds from inside the pumpkins. Staff were there to explain and model the necessary skills for finding out more about the world and to show interest.
The children used safety knives to cut the raw vegetables. Pumpkins are hard to cut and staff needed to demonstrate and support children in learning these new skills. Staff also needed to offer the children encouragement to try the roasted pumpkins.
Children need to try new foods lots of times to learn to like them. They also need adults who want them to help with the cooking & model enjoying tasting too.