How we treat our world today will affect how our children will live in our world tomorrow.
Watering Whole Holistic Preschool strives to be an environmentally friendly and eco-conscious preschool. We aim to do this in several ways outlined below:
- We have three bunny residents at the preschool, “Fidget”, “Hope” and “Chance”, who enable the children to have hands on experience of what it means to care for other living beings, including the importance of grooming, petting and feeding the bunnies. We grow organic vegetables in the preschool garden, some of which are used to provide food for the bunnies. The children themselves are involved in not only the feeding, but also the growing and selection of appropriate fresh vegetables for our little furry friends.
- We also have a sea-water aquarium situated in the ‘Under the Sea’ themed bathroom of the preschool, which has an array of sea-creatures and fish including: Star Fish, Sea Snails, a Sea Urchin, Clown Fish, a Tang Fish, a Fire Fish, a cleaning Shrimp and various living coral. These are a valuable sensory way of introducing children to some the wonders of the natural world we live in and offer a glimpse into the fascinating world found under the sea. The children help feed the fish daily as well as clean the tank when necessary, which also offers the valuable learning experience of helping to care for others.
- We pride ourselves on only providing high-quality wooden and eco-friendly Toys, educational materials and furniture in the school. We make use of, and support, green companies, who specialise in creating educational materials that are both kind to the earth as well as beneficial to early child development. Whatever we are not able to source in wood, we seek out recycled versions of – for instance, some of our various sandpit tools and toys such as buckets and spades, dump trucks, etc are made from recycled plastic.
- We also try to support local traders such as local farmers, painters and have used a local Pinelands carpenter to build most of our furniture, bookshelves, lockers etc.
- Our unique bookshelf was built to represent the form of a tree with its outstretched painted branches and leaves providing a canopy of ‘shade’ where the children sit and listen to stories. In this way, the children are not only being invited to experience the wonder of stories, but are also learning about the significance of natural features such as trees, which are the source of our story books, the air we breathe and a great sense of beauty. Our cosy reading corner not only provides excellent incentive for reading and listening to stories, but also simulates the traditional experience of gathering under the tree to listen to the stories told by the elders.
- Our vegetable-patch was built by a local farmer from Oude-Molen Eco Village, who used recycled wood to create its structure, and his own organic compost. Growing vegetables, fruit and herbs helps children to learn about where food comes from, how it grows and how it needs our careful attention, as well as water and sunlight to flourish. This is then tied into our ethos of the critical importance of healthy eating and living choices. We aim to teach the children about making good choices for themselves, about eating healthy food and exercising regularly, working towards building healthy well balanced lifestyles.
- Recognising the importance of caring for the world around us is incorporated in everyday exercises with the children. In the words of Maria Montessori, “The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”