• ... in der Kita
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The Happy Hedgerows Project for Children: A Year in the Life of a Hedgerow

One of the key elements of the Happy Hedgerows project was hosting nature education events and creating themed handouts for teachers and educators. A cooperation with a preschool group from the Pöhlbergzwerge nursery in Annaberg-Buchholz began on 6 May 2013. As a result of the long winter that year, the hedgerow “adopted” for the project (located along the extension of the Zechensteig road) was still completely bare.
Between spring and autumn, the 17 children (aged between three and five) visited “their” hedge multiple times to observe changes and learn about the different types of plants and animals that made their home there. Their mascot, Fuchsi the Little Caterpillar, joined them every time. Between May and October, the children took part in the following nature education activities:

  •  Selma the Snail
  • Sally the Stinging Nettle
  •  Liam the Ladybird
  •  Buzzy the Little Wild Bee
  •  Bees and Flowers
  •  A Visit from the Beekeeper
  •  From Caterpillar to Butterfly
  •  The Elder Medicine Cabinet
  •  Ruby the Rowan
  •  Blackbird, Thrush, Finch and Starling

The nature education programme was conducted in close consultation with the group’s educator. A new hedgerow topic was introduced roughly once a week. It was usually accompanied by a visit to the adopted hedge and discovering and learning about a new animal or plant. The new topic introduced then occupied the children for a full week – for example through books, stories or craft projects. Over the course of the project, the children decorated their classroom with cut-out paper snails, colourful butterflies, bees made from pipe cleaners, and ladybirds made from cardboard and small paper clips.
The programme was adapted to the requirements of the Saxon curriculum. The project involved the following educational areas:

  • Communication education (expressing oneself through speech, facial expressions and gestures; telling and retelling stories; expressing feelings; reaching agreements)
  • Social education (interacting with friends; becoming a team; showing empathy; being considerate)
  • Somatic education (body, movement, health)
  • Maths education (sorting, ordering, comparing and orienting were built into the programme)
  • Artistic and aesthetic education (exploring nature with all the senses: smelling, tasting, hearing, feeling and seeing, as well as expressing oneself)
  • Natural science education (researching nature; asking questions and looking for answers)

A model project plan can be downloaded here:
The Happy Hedgerows Project.pdf