✦ Mention TG's Child Care and images of lush, colourful, creative gardens come to mind. And there's more to these gardens than meets the eye!
TG's award-winning gardens are the brain child of Trevor Kee, one of the owners of TG's Child Care and also a qualified landscape designer. It is his magic wand that has created every single one of these magical playspaces that are so signature of TG's philosophy of Playing is Learning for Life. Across all their six campuses in Australia, TG's children get to explore these natural playspaces that are chockful of learning opportunities and sustainability skills.
One could wonder, what exactly happens in these gardens? What do the children and Educators do there? Surely it's not just to take a nice morning walk.
Come with us, and we'll take you on a magical Brilliant adventure of what TG's gardens offer!
TG's Riverbreeze gardens you'll want to explore again and again!
Alignment with EYLF
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) is used to support early childhood providers, teachers and educators to extend and enrich children's learning from birth to 5 years, and through the transition to big school. Early childhood is a key period in a child's learning, development and wellbeing. The EYLF has been developed with the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority.
It focuses on Belonging, Being and Becoming.
Children build a sense of Belonging to their families and communities. It acknowledges their interdependence with others and is the basis of building relationships. As the children grow through their childhood, they begin to seek and make meaning of the world around them. It is a time for children to know themselves, develop their identity, nurture relationships and meet challenges.
This is their stage of Being, of mindfulness of the present as well as preparing for the future as they move through events and circumstances in their childhood.
Becoming is what happens as a result of this process of change in the early years, and it requires the collaboration of educators, families and communities to support and enhance every child's connections and capabilities, where children learn to confidently and actively participate as citizens.
TG's gardens have been specially designed to be a space where children can develop a sense of Belonging, Being and Becoming, and TG's Educators create a curriculum that is guided by the EYLF and implemented in the gardens. Check out these ideas and you may be inspired to implement them in your home gardens too!
TG's High Street gardens with so many possibilities for activities we don't know where to start! Shall we have a pirate adventure on the boat, read a story under the teepee or have a bit of a race?
Growing more than just plants in the gardens
TG's gardens are ready for the spring and summer crops!
TG's children love helping and getting busy in the garden. They are given age-appropriate tasks that engage their senses and learning skills, and as always, FUN to do with their friends and Educators!
They really are the best gardeners any vegetable garden can hope to have, and it is beautiful to see how the children simply grow and shine and fully expand their potential when they are entrusted with appropriate responsibilities. It's a powerfully affirmative feeling to know that one can make a difference to one's environment.
Prepping the gardens
The children have been hard at work helping Educators to prepare the vegetable gardens for the spring crop. They use their gross motor skills to pull out the weeds and winter crop and build strong muscles and healthy bodies being outdoors. Educators share knowledge about helpful plants and not-so-helpful ones they need to remove, and how the different seasons affect the types of crops that can be grown, so the children are also building their gardening experience and being empowered with information about nature. If you pass by TG's at such moments, you'll hear lots of laughter and excited squeals from the gardens because the children are also building relationships with their friends and Educators at the same time! Whoever said gardening is a chore has not experienced what gardening is like TG's style! Remember, Playing is Learning for Life!
A Little MEG in the gardens
TG's has strong sustainability values and Little MEG i.e. Mindfulness, Empathy and Gratitude is what TG's children have in their pockets always. When the children are gardening, there is a strong element of Mindfulness at play, where simply feeling the dirt, digging up plants and noticing little worms are all engaging children in the here and now and contributing to their overall wellbeing.
You can see how beautiful relationships are nurtured because of the loving, kind and respectful environment at TG's. The Preschool and Middle Rock children are delighted to take the Boaties under their wings, showing care and empathy while passing on knowledge from the Educators on what plants to pull out and asking if they need help. The children model the same respectful behaviour they have experienced, by trusting the Boaties to give it a go, and to be ready to help if they need it. It is heartening for Educators and families to see how the children are in their process of Becoming and developing their identities.
Team work makes light (and fun!) work
The gardens are a huge space, and it is clear that many hands make light work. Working as a team comes naturally to TG's children. They have a strong sense of Belonging, knowing they have the support of their friends and Educators and also knowing they too can provide support and help to others. They are valued and are an important part of the group. For example, when the children were gardening, they noticed that the worms' toilet was full! (If you don't know what that looks like just ask any one of TG's children! They'll be happy to explain to you!) So together as a team, they poured the worms' water onto the garden, releasing nutritious bacteria back into the soil. TG's children are getting a headstart in sustainability practices.
The children understand the seasonal changes and are excited to plant more delicious vegetables, which they can appreciate later on their plates. They always have something to look forward to with each season.
An apparently simple and enjoyable activity in the garden fulfils different sections outlined in the EYLF, specifically EYLF 1.1 Children feel safe, secure and supported and EYLF 2.4 Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
Mud play is the best fun there is!
Let's face it. When we were children we all loved getting muddy and jumping in puddles! So do TG's children!
TG's gardens has areas where the vegetables are growing and being taken care of, and there are other areas for different activities, that's why it's so fun to explore!
Benefit of... dirt!
The Boaties Educators know about the benefits of exposing children to play in the dirt. Playing in nature can boost children's sensory development, creative thinking, and... you may want to write this down, even their immune system! Who would have thought a bit of dirt could do so much good!
Recipe for mud
The Boaties had a field day watering the dirt in the big garden bed, and they discovered the resulting 'blend' had a most unusual texture! They could mould it and squish it with their fingers! TG's Educators are always quick to notice learning opportunities and how to make them fun as well. With the EYLF always on their minds, they can also take advantage of spontaneous opportunities to further boost the children's learning. Seeing how much fun the children were having with their discovery, the Educators started filling the garden beds with buckets of water for the children to jump about in muddy puddles.
Benefits of outdoor play
This type of unstructured outdoor play give ample opportunities for the children to exercise, practise social skills and help them make sense of the world. This activity fulfilled Learning Outcome 2 where through mud play, the children were developing a sense of self and belonging of their place in the world around them. Being in and around nature provides the children with opportunities to explore nature, ground themselves and learn to care for the environment and world around them.
Perhaps even just reading about this is already inspiring the Inner Child in you to kick off your boots, get out in the garden with a bucket of water and do a bit of stomping about! Take it from TG's children - playing in the dirt, getting messy and going home smelling like the outdoors usually means someone had a good time!
Activities at TG's change with the seasons, and with warmer weather, the children know they have lots of activities coming up where they will be exploring water and sensory play!
10 years and going strong!
Knowing this is just a typical day at TG's and all the fun the children and Educators are having, is it any wonder that TG's has Educators who have been with TG's for ten years? TG's has seen Educators who started off as parents and who later trained so they could join TG's as an Educator, and there have been TG's children who grew up and returned to TG's as Educators. There is a beautiful environment at TG's that keeps children and Educators happy to return day after day.
It is no wonder that TG's has won Employer of Choice at the 2023 Wauchope and Hinterland Business Awards! Read more about their other awards here:
What will you do in your gardens today? Why not do it the TG's Way, where Playing is Learning for Life, and you can start right in your own backyard! Share your garden fun adventures with us!
Check out more Brilliant stories about TG's gardens:
Join the amazing team of TG's Educators! Apply here:
TG's Child Care locations and contact details (below)
61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655
11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350
23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wauchope - Hastings St NSW
33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - High St NSW
223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW
3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446
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