Cupar Elmwood, 31 March 2015
Nursery children at Elmwood Busy Bees have a fabulous new “mud kitchen” to explore, thanks to staff and students at SRUC Elmwood Campus.
A wooden style bench and sink with a basin area for storing the mud and water plus plenty of room for placing objects, the “kitchen” can be used by several children at once. It was designed by the College Horticulture Department, based on photographs of similar units which the children chose as inspiration. It is currently cited in the nursery garden.
Says Amanda Carlin, Nursery Manager at Elmwood: “We are delighted with our mud kitchen and our sincere thanks go to the students from the Introduction to Horticulture Course, students from the SVQ3 in Horticulture, their lecturer Bruce Robertson and Mike Blair who did the wood work. The children love exploring in it and role playing using the mud to make mud pies and mud tea and so on – all sorts of messy fun!”
“We have always enjoyed a close relationship with the college and this is yet another example of us working in partnership together.”
Said Bruce Robertson, Lecturer in Horticulture at SRUC Elmwood Campus: “We were delighted to get involved with this. Not only did it result in a fantastic new activity for the nursery children but we have been developing a new SRUC certificate in leading groups of preschool children in gardening activities, so the close tie up has been hugely beneficial as this has developed. The course is now going to be in our 15/16 prospectus. Helping build the Nursery gardens has also been a massive help to the students and we look forward to continuing our close bonds with Busy Bees Elmwood.”
The Nursery is still running its Nature Explorers initiative, introduced before Christmas, which sees young children enjoy weekly outdoor play sessions to nearby woodland areas.
“The last Nature Explorers session of 2014 ended with a campfire in the woods to close proceedings,“ said Amanda. “We have started another block with new children involved so that everyone takes a turn. We are exploring the area around Tarvit Pond.”
“It is great to do this initiative locally and not travel far. The children bring back many treasures from the woods. If we don’t have time to identify them during the visit we do it back at the nursery – they have been learning how to identify different species of trees and woodland plants.”