Agrinido L’Orto dei Pulcini farm kindergarten
Larisa Lupini's farm in Ostra has integrated a kindergarten with the activities of the farm since 2010. Thanks to the Montessori teaching method, L'Orto dei Pulcini (The Garden of Chicks) allows children to immerse themselves in nature and experience it on a daily. basis The Garden of Chicks is one of the four farm-based kindergartens (agrinido) in the agrindo network of the Marche region. The educational project aimed at children aged 0-3 years is based on outdoor education and daily activities are programmed according to the needs of the surrounding farm. This includes the vegetable garden, fruit trees, animals and the forest. There is also an internal kitchen that offers organic food from the farm so that children can be part of the food growing cycle of the farm.
How is the project linked to climate change and sustainability?
The project is linked to the theme of sustainability and climate change because it educates knowledge and respect for nature in an experiential way. Children have the opportunity to have many diverse experiences based on the different seasons and activities that take place. In addition, the agrinido also carries out many activities for families including a listening desk, collective meetings for families and the 'Montessori School for parents'.
Who is involved?
The farm kindergarten involved teachers, pedagogues, children and their families.
How are the participants involved?
Children at the kindergarten are immersed in the activities of the farm on a daily basis. The project engages children in activities related to the environment of the farm which hosts the agrinido (farm kindergarten). These activities include the vegetable garden, outdoor animals, a vineyard, an olive grove, fruit trees and a forest. Wider family and community participants are involved through open days which open to all, activities for adults and children (e.g. grape picking) and video-lessons on the Montessorian method. In addition, a summer camp fis organised for children up to 12 years old, so that the number of families and children involved grows.
Think about how you can integrate some aspect of the farm kindergarten into your own setting. Children are gradually sensitised to the environmental aspects of the farm through the following experiences, and you can also try these on a smaller scale:
• Observation of plants and animals in their own habitat;
• Observation of nature, the elements and natural processes, eg flora and fauna, water and soil
• Gaining experience of how nature changes during the different seasons;
• Taking part in some basic activities that enable children to get in touch with the environment
• Undertaking some basic growing activities.