Waconia ED Center ECFE Pre-School
- Serves birth to 5-year-old children
- Have several garden types
- Wide variety of plants and flowers
- Uses garden for hands-on activities
- Uses gardens as an outdoor learning center
- Garden is connected to a natural play area
- Area fenced in for child safety
Waconia Educational Services Center houses students from birth to 5 years of age. The mission of their garden program is to grow understanding by providing hands-on learning opportunities for learners of all ages and to gain a better understanding of the ‘seed to table’ progression and the inter-connection between food, the earth, community, and well-being. Engaging very young children and their families in the care of school gardens is one way they can cultivate their love of learning and their love of nature. The garden is used in multiple ways. Children are involved with planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting in the edible garden areas. In other garden areas there are opportunities to use the senses by collecting flowers and other loose parts from plantings, and observing and exploring natural objects. The area is combined with a natural play area appropriate for all ages. They use several resources and curriculums including; (a) Grow It, Try It, Like It! a preschool curriculum about growing fruits and vegetables and recipes to move the growing to the tasting and eating phase; and (b) Early Sprouts, Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children is a curriculum that embeds gardening and healthy food choices into daily lesson plans in math, science, language reading, music, and large and small muscle play.
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