Daycare center or dedicated park? These kids in Hanover Linden have a choice

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Daycare center or dedicated park? These children in Linden will be able to decide for themselves in the future

Hanover.It’s a stroke of luck for the kids: The AWO daycare center at Pfarrlandplatz in Linden was able to tend a designated garden in the Vereinigte Steintormasch colony in Nordstadt. Some kids recently planted gardens on the site for the first time – and they seem to feel very comfortable doing so. “It’s beautiful here,” says six-year-old Alina. “Yeah, that’s really cool here,” agrees Sarina, who is the same age.

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The daycare center came forward a year ago and the contract has now been awarded. The Corona pandemic has increased the desire to own your own garden. At the time, the children and staff felt “totally incarcerated,” Dorothea Corner, the nursery manager, reports. The children were divided into fixed groups and each was only allowed to use a designated space outside the day care centre. Even frequent trips to the Georgengarten alleviated the unfortunate situation only to a limited extent.

Children do not know earthworms

The relatively large customization area now opens up the possibility of entirely new experiences for boys and girls. 85 children aged between one and a half and ten years belong to the AWO day care center on Pfarrlandplatz. Many of them come from financially disadvantaged or refugee families. This means that they often move with their families only in the immediate vicinity.

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That’s also part gardening: Kids prepare the soil with Daycare Director Dorothea Corner.

“At our daycare center we try to impart knowledge about nature and healthy nutrition,” says Korner. Teachers also create raised plant beds and bee lawns. But in a densely populated residential area, this is only possible to a limited extent, says the director of the day care center. And so children often only know the animals that they experience in their environment: pigeons, beetles, house spiders, wasps and flies. “Most of them have never seen earthworms before, let alone had them within reach.”

Keita plans full days in the allotment park

This is going to change. Teachers want to spend whole days with the kids in the allotment park. Children have to decide in the morning whether they prefer to stay in the daycare center or go to the park, which is just over a ten minute walk away.

Difficult to hold: Children collect small branches under the supervision of teacher Tania Spoor.

Difficult to hold: Children collect small branches under the supervision of teacher Tania Spoor.

The first preliminary work has already been completed. The garden was cleaned, three trees were cut down and dry toilets were installed for children. “Now we can really move on,” says Korner. On this day, all children have shovels, shovels or a shovel in their hands and go to work. They are preparing the land for planting beds in the near future.

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Read more after the announcement

Children should learn to make apple juice

Some of the previous tenant’s plants are already blooming. “I enjoy mowing,” says Faris, who clips plants and shrubs. “Kids should learn how fun planting and harvesting is. We like to plant fruit trees and later squeeze juice out of the fruit, and make jam or applesauce,” says the daycare manager Korner. An insect hotel is also planned.

A New Beginning: Under the guidance of teacher Tania Shpor, two children plant their first tulips and grape lilies.

A New Beginning: Under the guidance of teacher Tania Shpor, two children plant their first tulips and grape lilies.

“The project is really cool and special,” applauds Heike Ralves, deputy director of the AWO Day Care Center. Such a project is not natural, because the garden must be looked after during the holidays and on the weekends. This means additional work for educational personnel, which they do on a voluntary basis. Nearly all of the employees are gardeners, says Corner, who are enthusiastic about the hobbies. Some parents have already offered to help with gardening.

Corner reports that the daycare center can use the allotment park almost free of charge. The allotment takes place within the framework of the Learning Garden Network in Hannover, in which the Association of Allocating Gardens United Steintormasch participates. A Schreberjugend day care center is recommended. Linden-Limmer County Council is financially supporting the project.

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