Talk about the visit
Use photographs taken during your visit to talk with children about what they did and saw.
- What was most memorable about their visit?
- What did they like or dislike?
- What would they like to do or see again in a future visit to a park?
- What things in the park would they like to have in their own garden?
Foundation Stage teachers could work with children to make up stories around the places where the soft toys were placed. Sequence the story, projecting the photographs onto an interactive whiteboard in the order children found them in the park. Suggest what could have happened at different places? Did anything go wrong? Did the weather change?
How parks change?
Talk about what the weather was like on the day of your visit. How did it affect what children did? What might have happened if the weather had been different?
Extend by talking about how a park changes in different seasons. What would change and why? What will children not see? How will people use the park differently in each season? What might children be able to do in the park in winter that they cannot do in summer?
What are things in the park made of?
Use photographs taken during your visit and photographs of park features to talk about what materials were used to make things for the park.
List them and discuss why these materials were used.
Which materials are natural or man-made?
What conditions are the materials? Create word banks for children to select from. For example, shiny, smooth, spiky, rough, peeling, rusty, dirty, rotting.
Set up a role-play area, ideally immediately after your visit in order to maintain the topic’s momentum. Add dressing up clothes and objects seen or used in the park. Create Percy the Park Keeper’s shed with overalls, wellingtons, trays of soil, plant pots, plastic flowers, seed packets, a watering can, teapot and mugs, and tools such as a trowel or a brush. Include animal soft toys such as rabbits, hedgehogs, squirrels, mice and birds, or images of them.
Work with children to surround the role-play area with a large collage of trees, shrubs and plants. Add different-coloured leaves, taken from those which children observed and drew in the park or from cut-out leaf prints. Label different parts of the trees and plants.
Create ‘Who am I?’ pouches. In each pouch place a card with a simple description of an animal for children to find in one of the trees. On the reverse is a picture of the animal. Foundation Stage children could describe the pictures to a friend and ask them to guess what it is.
Add writing and drawing materials in the role-play corner for children to make posters.
Routes around the park - Park games
Create a large board game in the style of snakes and ladders. Inside some of the squares add children’s drawings or photographs of park features. Think of reasons why the players can move up the board or why they have to drop back down.
Or, create a game for getting around the park. At different places children must answer a question or collect a token before moving on. Illustrate the edges of the board with children’s drawings.
What lives in the park? - Animal collages
Make large collages of animals, birds or insects. Focus on texture and pattern. Aim to show the environment in which each creature lives. Perhaps create a large wall display incorporating all areas of the park and its different habitats.
What lives in the park? - Feed the birds
Talk about why people should feed birds in winter.
Children follow instructions to make seed cakes to hang out for birds in the school garden.
They could also design or make a bird feeder.
What lives in the park? - Make woven nests.
Ask children to build a large nest for birds.
Explore ways of fastening twigs and leaves to make a nest.
Park patterns and shapes - Fencing patterns
Talk about where fences were used in the park. Why are they necessary? What are they made of? Look at photographs of different designs of fencing and gates taken during your visit or photographs from fences and railings and gates and entrances . Use them, along with children’s own drawings, to make a collage or a design for a fence. Foundation Stage children could make a patterned fence design by threading coloured ribbon through a plastic mesh. Extend investigation of shape by looking at the photographs in park shapes.
Create a café in the role-play corner to play at selling. Discuss what people might want to eat or drink on a visit to a park.
How many things sold in café or in eaten in a sandwich are grown?
How might the menu differ in summer and winter?
Design a menu and write or draw it on a whiteboard. Use simple prices in amounts that children can work with. Foundation Stage teachers could use photographs of menu items.
Ask children to work out the cost of different purchases, such as the price of a snack comprising two sandwiches and a cup of tea, or for three ice creams.