True to their nature of being a community focused Shopping Centre, Park Boulevard Shopping Centre, and their tenants, are gifting Golden Hours School with a sensory garden, as part of their on-going community outreach programmes. Specifically created to heighten one’s senses - touch, smell, sight, taste and sound – with the help of the immediate environment and natural organisms around it, sensory gardens are incredibly beneficial for people of all ages, particularly those with sensory processing issues, including autism and other disabilities.
The students at Golden Hours School will most certainly enjoy all the benefits and joy that the sensory garden will bring to their lives. Following several meetings with the school, and armed with a host of ideas, a currently open space has been earmarked for the garden installation. The first section of the garden, will be a sensory path measuring about 20m, which will incorporate different learning and sensory aspects, such as sight and feel. Within the sensory path, hopscotch will be incorporated, using paving stones, which the children can also draw on with coloured chalk, and a ‘balance ‘beam made from cobble stones, various stones and textures.
Wind chimes and colourful decorations that will twist in the wind, will be added to planted indigenous plants, and a water feature will be added to the area, creating enchanting, yet soothing, component.
Children can also look forward to a mud kitchen zone, made from recycled plastic! As the name suggests, they will be able to ‘cook’ delicious looking meals made from mud and water. The kitchen will be fully stocked with all the necessary gadgets and utensils, making it feel even more realistic. Alongside the mud kitchen, there will be a stone pit that will enable the children to feel the different textures, sizes and weights of the stones while playing with their trucks and gardening tools.
Last but not least, see and smell boxes that will allow the children to experience herbs, plants and flowers and enjoy a wide variety of smells, textures and colours, have been included. No two sensory gardens are ever the same, as each is created according to its unique surroundings and available space.
Principal, Rowan Hornby is ecstatic that the Centre has chosen her school for this project, and cannot wait for their precious young charges to start playing: “We at Golden Hours School are thrilled by this sponsorship afforded to us by Park Boulevard Shopping Centre and know that the children will enjoy many hours here gaining much joy from the experience. Something like this sensory garden is exactly the kind of stimulation that our children need, and what better way to experience this, than in the fresh air!”