The Gardening with Young Children Course is a NC State University non-credit course program developed by the Natural Learning Initiative. Program Modules (8 in total) are intended to immerse the learner in thinking about the meaning of environmental quality in early childhood environments and how quality can be improved and managed to promote children’s health and their enjoyment and understanding of the natural world. Modules contain a strong focus on gardening primarily in the context of childcare/child development center outdoor spaces. Information about the characteristics of different climatic zones is included to guide plant selection. A Glossary of Terms is included in each Module. A Final Knowledge Assessment is required to complete the course.
Interested participants will gain skills and knowledge to plan, manage, and use gardens and outdoor learning environments for children birth to seven in licensed childcare facilities.
The course follows the structure of the Gardening Activity Guide containing three phases covering 12 garden-related learning processes, time to harvest tips, and a tool to record daily activities:
1. Introduction and Gardening Activity Guide Overview
2. Phase 1: Preparing
3. Phase 2: Caring
4. Phase 3: Harvesting and Eating
5. Time to Harvest: Cool Season and Warm Season
6. Choosing child-friendly fruit and vegetables to grow in childcare centers. Plant database tutorial.
7. Gardening Activity Guide Calendar
8. Final Knowledge Assessment
Why You Should Attend
You should attend this course if you want to learn how to support healthy, active lifestyles of young children and motivate learning in, about, and through nature, and to provide knowledge, tools, and resources for childcare providers and associated professionals to develop and program fruit and vegetable gardens for young children as a vehicle for learning.
Who Should Attend
- Early childhood providers, educators, administrators, technical assistants, advocates
- Landscape design/build, horticultural, and park and recreation professionals interested in gaining relevant knowledge on gardening with young children
- Community college and university instructors
- Public health professionals conducting community initiatives to support early childhood healthy eating, physical activity, and outdoor learning
- Cooperative Extension agents, master gardeners, garden club members, local food specialists, and volunteers interested in advancing healthy eating and physical activity in the outdoors for young children
Attend and You Will Receive
- 1.0 CEUs
- A certificate of attendance from NC State University
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