Back in summer, we were thrilled to run a sensory garden competition. We invited schools to work with their students to design and make an ornament suitable for a sensory garden. Find out more here about who we shortlisted as well as who the winner of our grand £250 garden centre prize was.
We were thrilled to receive lots of fantastic entries from schools up and down the country. A few of them are detailed below:
One student went above and beyond the remit by designing not just an ornament, but an entire sensory garden! Encompassing underground fish tanks, compete with glass tops you can even walk on, as well as musical features and bees to stimulate the senses, and fruit trees to add a little taste, this was a beautiful design full of imagination and creativity.
We especially loved the surprise sea turtle which lives inside the hill, the miniature piano and the Chinese lanterns. Well done Escher, age 7 from Beaver Road Primary School.
This class spoke about the senses and came up with some realistic ideas as well as some crazy ones! They had a lot of fun with this brief – which you can see the result of in the pictures on the right.
Among these ideas, the children came up with a beautiful, tall (and exploding!) water feature as well as a super fun tree house for people to explore and immerse themselves in. I can certainly imagine listening to the rain falling on the roof, the smell of the wood and the imaginative play which could take place in there – great ideas, guys!
These young garden designers aged just 2-4 went on a sensory walk which included a visit to the local primary school’s sensory garden – this really helped to stimulate their senses and get their creative juices flowing.
The children then came up with several fantastic ideas over the following weeks (which included some which “melted in the rain” and had to be re-thought!) to create sensory spaces. From dangling, shining objects to things that clink in the breeze – they were worthy runners-up, and it was super to see some entries from children who are so young!
These children shortlisted several ideas – such as creating a sensory water feature or putting beautiful (and smelly/edible) herb plants in welly planters, before settling on making some recycled CD fish light catchers.
They then created a display of these using an old pallet and some fairy lights. We think the design came together to produce a garden ornament which is sure to appeal to children of all ages – well done Gwersyllt.
These students did plenty of research and came up with lots of alternatives before settling on the idea to create a sensory “Island”. Here’s what they had to say about it:
For this competition, teachers and pupils from Cantonian High School Access Base worked together to create our ‘Sensory Island’ using ideas collected from a school trip to a beach. We used this theme to highlight the need to be careful with plastic rubbish, as on our beach trip we found a lot of children’s rubbish washed up, like Lego, Jenga pieces, toys and water bottles.
To show the five senses we used a variety of different plants, herbs, fruits and objects we could collect from the beach such as drift wood, shells and sea glass. It was a great opportunity for the pupils to interact with each other, which they all enjoyed, and learnt about the environment whilst creating the island.
Selecting a winner for this competition was tricky! It was clear to us that so many of the children (and staff) who took part worked very hard on their ideas – we felt that they were all fantastic! However, a single winner had to be chosen, and we agreed that we just loved this tin can robot which was created by the children from Ty Gwyn SEN School in Cardiff. Jennifer from our South Wales team went along to present them with their £250 garden centre voucher, and this is what she had to tell us about the experience:
Kathryn and I attended Ty Gwyn SEND School in Ely, Cardiff to present the prize to the winners of the sensory garden competition. We were invited into the Primary and Secondary assembly, where they were talking about harvest festival and the Headteacher Diane Stones and Assistant Heads Matt Thomas and Jamie Brotherton participated in the Gingerbread Man play. Usually throughout both assemblies they talk about achievements during the week, celebrate Birthdays and say the school prayer. Kathryn and I were able to meet the members of Class Rhosyn who designed and created the final product which ended up winning the Sensory Garden competition. We also presented Axcis Andy bears to all 7 pupils who took part. It was a very emotional but rewarding experience as all children had PMLD, we also met their carers, nurses and learning support assistants. Watch this space for more updates on how Ty Gwyn spent their Garden Centre vouchers!