When I heard about Gems Educational Childcare and their ‘Farm School’, I wanted to go back to being at childcare.
Muddy boots, worms, running through fields of corn, dancing to George Michael…..sorry that was my childhood….Anyways (Snap back to 2021) and something that was vitally important when I was checking out childcares in Queenstown was the amount of outdoors and free play the children had access to.
Gems Educational Childcare was the one I chose for my wee one because everyone I asked said do not pass up the opportunity to send your child there and, as I explored everything about their centres, a massive feature for me was their world famous in New Zealand ‘Farm School’.
A HUGE part of the kaupapa of Gems is to allow the freedom of movement, play and exploration. This is intrinsic to ‘who’ we are, ‘how’ we are in the world and the ‘way’ we discover each other. Because we live in the world’s most beautiful place (it’s true!) it would be absolutely bonkers not to explore outside.
This is where ‘Farm School’ comes into its own. A fully fenced piece of working farm that Gemma and Mike (owners of Gem’s) have created where they live and work. Complete with bee hives, fences to navigate, muddy slides to get dirty in and walks to be had.
A magical experience for the children when they turn 4 (Rata and Kowhai attendees) to explore where they live and their own backyard.
To explore and understand nature is to appreciate how hard everything works, the respect we must have about the earth and learning to work together problem solving and gaining trust.
The children also learn about boundaries, their ability to move, to do things they didn’t think they could, to be independent thinkers and to have fun!!!
The children go whatever the weather so they experience the full list of needs a working farm has and based on the theory of ‘forest school’ where children have the opportunity to work out problem solving, risk taking, teamwork and creativity that is so intrinsically important for children to experience.
Visiting places on the farm that the children are naturally drawn to they create their own play and experiences. From digging up worms, to making fishing lines out of sticks. Climbing trees, sliding down mud, discovering plants, trees and flowers and understanding how each moving piece of the outdoors works together.
They then eat together and discuss the day. It makes my heart sing to think my wee one will be part of such a community when she hits 4.
This beautiful part of Gem’s Educational Childcare is such an important part of a child’s development and we are so lucky to have this experience. If you’re in two minds about the offerings this absolutely has to be part of the reason you say “yes” and give your wee one(s) this opportunity.
Gem’s Educational Childcare
I collaborated on this blog post with Gem’s Educational Childcare because I thought you’d love them as much as I do. If I didn’t think you’d like them I wouldn’t write about them!