The Garden Play Project
"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul." Frederick Froebel (1782-1852)
Play speaks to the deepest parts of our being. We know this by simply observing play in progress.
Anyone that works with children, has children, or can remember childhood can conjure up a mental image of joyful play, pretend play, quiet and sometimes chaotic, free play. We have long understood that play allows us to creatively explore the world, and find ourselves within it. The Garden Play Project has created a range of kits and activity prompts for Resiliency Bags--all designed to get playful about environmental education.
Our most recent projects have included making bird feeders out of egg cartons, turning plastic bottles into watering cans, hunting for nature and sculpting art with items found. The Play Project aims to get children and families observing nature in gardens, parks, or even parking strips, by making educational materials accessible. All this is made possible by the various interns as well as student projects connected to the Garden Play Project.
SCU undergraduate involvement ranged from educational videos produced by student groups to research and development of our social media. It’s important to recognize the commitment and compassion students pour into crafting the Garden Play Project. Their ideas celebrate nature in our most urban settings, while rethinking activities that mindfully upcycle and inspire outdoor play. Students also kept us connected through translating instructions and materials, so our program participants and partners living in spanish speaking households could engage. As we approach a year of Shelter-in-Place, we took this opportunity to reflect on and recognize that ways playful exploration can serve both childhood development as well as build community connection.
To learn more about The Garden Play Project, visit our playlist on The Forge Garden Youtube channel or other social media platforms.