Green Patch Day

Next Wednesday is the first day of Spring and the perfect day for the boys to get off screens, go out into the fresh air and connect with nature on our Green Patch Day. It will allow them to take a deep breath and refocus on a range of fun and engaging activities to grow their environmental awareness and increase sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

They can choose to interact with as many of the 4 themes: PLANNING, PLANTING, PROTECTING and PLATING as they like. They can choose to do as little or as much as they wish – this is a day to enjoy!  The activities can flow into the next day, weekend, or even into the school holidays.

Inside each THEME there are a variety of activities with various skill levels and resources required. The easy activities are the first ones listed. They will increase in difficulty and quantity of resources as the list descends and may require some parent involvement.

The PLANNING theme has activities to connect the whole family with their local environment, to discover new places and wildlife. The boys can begin searching for fauna in their own yards or look out from their balconies or they may choose to venture to local parks and waterways with the family (within 5km!) during the afternoon or over the weekend.

There is also a design competition for the Green Patch frog pond with an online exhibition of entries and a prize for the winning design. Watch out for Kermit’s video.

The PLANTING theme allows the boys to begin growing vegetables and herbs at home that they can transplant into their class Green Patch space on their return from lockdown or use them to contribute ingredients to future family meals!

The Spring species of herbs and vegetables used in the activities will need to be sourced in seed packets or as seedlings in punnets from hardware stores such as Bunnings, Mitre 10, or garden centres like Flower Power. Some supermarkets have small pots of herbs like parsley, mint and basil that could also be used in the activities requiring seedlings.

Spring seeds in packets include basil, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, lettuce, radish Spring seedlings in punnets include beans, beetroot, celery, cucumbers, leeks, rainbow chard, silverbeet, tomatoes or zucchini.

The PROTECTING theme provides the opportunity to audit waste collection around their homes and look for ways to reduce waste going into landfill. They may also like to create a wriggly worm farm to assist with this process.

The PLATING theme provides connection with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to encourage the boys to get into the kitchen and create some colourful dishes for the family.

A package of materials for each activity, including videos, step by step illustrated instructions, plans, worksheets, and recipes will be provided on Green Patch Day.

To maximise the Green Patch Day experience, you will need to organise some resources beforehand. Some of the things you will need can be sourced around your homes or from the supermarket. As mentioned previously some of the PLANTING activities may require purchases online or from the click and collect service at Bunnings, Mitre 10, or local garden centres. Most require potting mix. If it is too difficult to get it can be substituted with soil from your garden mixed with an equal amount of sand. Potting mix should always be used wearing gloves and a mask.

It would be helpful for the boys to assist sourcing the resources to increase their connection with the activities and to assist their organisation skills.

Here a list of the 4 THEMES with their activities.

The resources required for each activity are divided into two groups those which can be gathered from around the home or supermarket purchases and those which require an online or click and collect purchases before Green Patch Day. The range of resources for the PLANTING and PROTECTING activities need to be sourced from both columns.

Looking at what resources are required will give parents and boys a chance to think through which activities they wish to undertake and help them be ready for next Wednesday.

Click here to download the THEMES and Activities sheet.

I hope this has built your anticipation for an exciting Green Patch Day next Wednesday (1st September). Remember that this is a day to break from the normal remote learning routines and a chance to try new things. Make sure you take lots of photos to document your experiences on the day and beyond, to share with us all. I am so excited and can’t wait to see all that you achieve.

Melinda Bargwanna

Specialist Environmental Educator


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