One of our fun curriculum goals at Little Seeds is incorporating as many natural materials as possible into our crafting projects. The tradition of wildcrafting – harvesting plants from their natural habitat for food or medicinal purposes – has been practiced for millennia and we like to think of this as our own version!
Little Seeds Farm School students are very often exploring nature with their teachers and we use these opportunities to keep a look out for inspiring crafting materials. Our students are encouraged to suggest uses for the things they see and the teachers have worked hard to build a collection of projects that utilize the natural beauty of our environment.
Some of our favorite projects include creating our very own fabric dyes from plant materials, crafting herb satchets for natural air fresheners and playing with herb and flower infused sand. We collect rocks, sticks and pine cones for all sorts of projects. Seeds make amazing crafting implements with all their various shapes, sizes and colors and some of our projects can even be planted afterwards to grow!
As our students arrive and we begin creating projects, this blog will be updated weekly showing off all of this special work!
Oral storytelling is an important tradition that has allowed our communities to bond, pass along ancestral knowledge and entertain one another for thousands of years. At Little Seeds Farm School, we continue this time-honored practice by creating unique stories and mythologies with our students and engaging their minds with dramatic play.
As teacher Doriet Berkowitz writes in her article about oral storytelling for the National Association for the Education of Young Children:
“Oral storytelling encourages a heightened and more sophisticated level of engagement among preschoolers through its invitation for role-playing and performance.”
We come together with our students every day as a community for a story time where we use these performance techniques to more thoroughly communicate with the children than is possible through reading alone. Props, voices, costumes and more help us bring our tales to life in a memorable way. When they imagine the details and scenery of our stories rather than seeing them in a book, our student’s are exercising the very same faculties that aid them in problem solving. Nurturing imagination in our students is of the utmost importance to our school’s philosophy!
Little Seeds Farm School is also handcrafting a miniature fairy garden which will serve as the backdrop for an ongoing folklore story that we will create with our students. This garden features a miniature farm with a house crafted from sticks and natural materials, tiny rows of soil for seed starting and many other features created from objects found in the wild.
Our teachers will weave tales about the family of fairies who lives in this little corner of the urban farm and use this original mythology to explore the seasons, themes of family and growth, moral lessons and to leave behind trinkets and messages that will make our children’s time at school a special experience.
Photo above provided courtesy of our friend Olympia, WA-based artist and children’s author Nikki McClure!