By Juliet Robertson

This blog post was originally written in June 2010. Although there is no doubt that the outdoor space will now look very different, the idea of a community celebration of the outdoor space is a great way of enabling children and their families to meet and enjoy the outdoor space. Very often, parents who are very busy dash in and out of a school or nursery setting with very little time spent in the outdoor space. Time to be here, focuses the attention of all on its value and messages. 

Recently I was privileged to be invited to the Southmuir Primary Scarecrow Parade. The school was a recipient of an RBS Supergrounds Award. The money was spent on developing the gardens and encouraging nursery and primary children to work together on a mutual project as part of its approach to supporting children in their transition between nursery and primary school. This is a celebration of the expanded and flourishing garden.

scarecrow

Not long before this day, Teacher Tom blogged about a scarecrow his children decided to make in his nursery. It was a really good example of how children used their own initiative and ideas. This is a super post to read.

scarecrow

This project was very different in that the parents and children were asked to make a scarecrow at home to bring to school. Some of the scarecrows clearly had a lot of child input. Others were acts of labour and love by relatives and friends.

scarecrow

The Scarecrow Day was a lot of fun. The children got their faces painted and made paper scarecrows indoors.

scarecrow

The snack included baby carrots and lettuce from the re-vamped garden.

There were scarecrows inside too.

The children had painted stones to place in the garden where they wanted to see them.

Everyone made a flag that contributed to the bunting hanging on the fence.

At the end of the day, all the children paraded their scarecrows through the whole school. We all sang “I’m a dingle dangle scarecrow” to finish.

As you can see the staff put a lot of thought and effort into preparing for this celebration. A great way of doing this is to spent time consulting children in advance and finding out their ideas for a celebration. Some may see a cake and food as essential. Others may want the chance to simply play. The art and decorations can be done easily with their help, fostering greater ownership and excitement around the event.

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