The note of excitement in the children's voices as they run to tell us of a new discovery they have made in our garden is all the evidence I need that growing things in a preschool program is a very worthwhile thing indeed.
Gardening taps into a child's innate wonder and curiosity about the natural world. As they hold out their hands to reveal the latest red ripe strawberry or a particularly fat and wriggly worm, they share their delight in their discoveries with us.
"Quick!" she said.
"Our tomatoes are red!"
"Come and see!"
It was off to the vegepod armed with baskets to gather these delicious little treats.
And then into the neighbouring veggie and herb patch to check out the progress of our cucumbers.
Smelling, tasting, rubbing leaves between their fingers, picking and sharing discoveries with friends.
Watering, weeding, mulching, planting, harvesting and sharing fresh produce they have grown themselves - it is in these simple, hands-on experiences that children learn valuable lifelong lessons such as the importance of caring for our natural environment and the joy that comes from growing and sharing your own fresh produce.
You might also enjoy:
::: A bucket full of radishes
::: A day in the garden at preschool
::: Tea Time
::: Gardening with Children at Preschool
What's growing at your joint?