Last week, Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program hosted a preschool field trip, and the gardens were full of laughter and learning for all ages. Children and their caregivers visited our camp and gardens to learn about growing food and healthy eating, and in the process our program was enriched with a reminder of the many cycles of life and the importance of supporting the families in our community. Our preschool guests came from a community based program called Tūtū and Me, which is an innovative traveling preschool that allows educators to visit different areas of our rural Ka’u community to support the developmental needs of native Hawaiian children and their families. Each month the preschool focuses on a specific topic; this month was health and nutrition.
The students at Pacific Quest wilderness therapy made a valuable contribution by providing an interactive garden experience for the preschoolers, which allowed our students to demonstrate how our food comes form the Earth and benefits our body. The PQ students decided to set up three stations each with a fun learning activity. At the first station, PQ students helped the preschoolers plant a bean seed into a small pot so that the kids could take a plant home with them. At the second station, our students taught the preschoolers how to harvest, and then they had the opportunity to pick salad greens and cherry tomatoes for a snack.
At the third station, PQ students setup an arts and crafts activity where the preschoolers and their caregivers painted their hands and left their hand-prints on a sign for our camp as well as a Pacific Quest t-shirt so that Tūtū and Me could take home a souvenir. It was a day full of learning and singing songs in Hawaiian. We are grateful for their visit and hope they come back soon!