Schools and Childcare Activities

 

Tomato Patch Program

Little Green Thumbs is a performance based program for children, introducing them to the wonders of nature, providing environmental awareness and hands on experience. Combining my skills as both a pre-school teacher and landscaper, I developed the program initially for pre-school children and it has achieved considerable recognition and success.


The Tomato Patch Program is an extension of Little Green Thumbs which is designed to be adapted for specific age groups between 2-12 years of age as required.


Interactive story

The program begins with an interactive story that involves the children by encouraging them to help create a scenario where a series of adventures take place. Using props and guided questions, the children are drawn into an imaginative story where a small seed develops into a magnificent sunflower. This introduction exposes children to the life cycle of plants in a simple and entertaining way whilst also giving them an opportunity to express their creative abilities.


We then take a look at what it takes to become a 'mini' gardener. A range of tools are demonstrated and the children are taught about the safety precautions necessary when working outside. There is emphasis on sun safety, backyard hazards and the correct way to use and care for tools. Various plant types from around the world are displayed and discussed, leading into a brainstorming session of the value of edible plants and healthy eating habits.


At this point the children are able to transplant tomato seedlings into their own pots. This is done at a purpose built mobile 'potting station', providing each child with soil, seedlings and a 140mm pot suitable for full growth of their own edible plants. These plants can be taken home where the children can continue to grow and maintain them using the knowledge gained through this experience. (View steps 1 to 6)

 

Studies have indicated Australian children have inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, leading to obesity and related health problems. By providing hands on experience of growing food and a sense of ownership of the process, the Tomato Patch Program is a fantastic way to excite children about nutrition and help overcome some of the social factors affecting children's consumption of fruit and vegetables.


The program takes approximately 60 minutes and should ideally be delivered outdoors. Children and staff are given a range of follow up activities to extend on this experience. Cost of the performance is $7.50 per child with a minimum of $225.00 (30 children).


The Tomato patch program is an informative and interesting class activity and can also be structured to suit vacation care and after school care programs.


Key learning areas for curriculum: Technology, Science, H.P.E, SOSE, The Arts



"Thank you so much for the wonderful experience you gave our students. It was so funny and engaging, every single student was under your spell! We cant wait to have you back next year."
Rebecca McNeill, Year 2 teacher, St Oliver Plunkett Primary School, Cannon Hill

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