Education at The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is a place where children of all ages and abilities are able to explore and discover in an interactive, hands-on environment, the wonders of plants and their importance in our lives.
Delight in plants-spaces that will stimulate children’s senses, broaden their knowledge and invite exploration and adventure. Immerse your group in the magical world of a garden where experience-based learning creates connections through gardening, play and the inspiration of story…A place just waiting for the child’s imagination!
The Magic Pudding Sculpture in The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
- Children's Garden philosophy
- Student Programs
- The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden Teachers Kit (MS Word - 7.57 mb)
- The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
- Children's Garden operating hours
Children's Garden philosophy
Life-long and life-wide skills include growing a garden that is also good for you; understanding the systems and cycles that make up a healthy garden. Asking 'What is my role and where do I fit in?' leads to critical thinking and the development of problem-solving skills.
Play and construction
"Children still need the peace of a long slow-paced active and engaged childhood with plenty of time to finger slime, peer into water and make hosts of new discoveries which consolidate the process of knowing self and the world." "Play is the perfect bridge between the world of nature and the world of others." Sally Jenkinson, The Nature of Play.
Sensory immersion in intriguing plant landscapes
"In nature play, in which all the senses are active, a correspondence of feeling within the child, a symphony of responses to the world is aroused. Our first feelings are educated by our senses for it is our sense that begin the task of articulating and differentiating the feelings". Sally Jenkinson.
Exploring the fantasy and imaginary elements of plants
A child's imagination needs food; a garden is a place where the imagination grows!
The power of story
Landscape tells the most exciting stories because children can become a part of the story itself, meeting the plant and animal characters that live there.
The power of delight
"Surely a garden is not a success if it doesn't bring joy to children." Edna Walling
Share discoveries and creations with the gardeners, volunteers and botanists who work at the RBG, while finding out what they do and what drives them. 'If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder…he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, discovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in'. Rachel Carson, A Sense of Wonder.
A 'Hands…Heart…Head' experiential approach
We all love to touch, to do, to make, to discover. Using our hands and senses connects us to our emotions where passions are ignited! Our passions lead to a thirst for understanding. The most effective learning experiences for children involve all three levels of learning and values the connections between them.
An integrated approach - Making plant connections
Although programs do have focus areas they are designed to support integrated curriculums through their content and strategies. Plants connect to everything about being human!
The child's contribution
Whatever the child's contribution, artwork, gardening, landscaping, sculpture, dance, mudpies, a scarecrow...it is the most significant part of a changing and dynamic landscape.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden needs time for rest and maintenance. It is closed for two months at the end of the Victorian July School Holidays.
- 10am - Sunset, Wednesday to Sunday and all public holidays
- 10am - Sunset, seven days per week during Victorian State School holidays and on Father’s Day
Eight weeks for rest and maintenance following the end of the July school holidays
- Every Mondays and , Tuesdays in during Victorian school term time – booked schools use only
Last updated 18 Jan 2013