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the flowers along the fence and the mounds, give opportunity for general care and co-operative work to quick children.
We have golden-glow, sunflowers, corn, beans and tall flowers in the beds farthest back, the low growing flowers and vegetables in front.
This year, with individual gardens, each child has planted two vegetables and two flowers. One vegetable that matures above and one below the ground, as lettuce and radish, beets and beans.
The vegetables made an early showing. We had fine radishes June sixth, with beans and peas in blossom soon after. The flowers come more slowly, but are in their prime in the fall.
During the summer oui janitor and a number of helpers have offered to take care of the gardens.
The children know that they can come Saturday mornings, do any necessary work in their garden and take home anything that is ready.
The closing week of school the parents were invited to visit the kindergarten.
We were delighted to notice their interest in every son, and game, and piece of work, but the gardens ! Why, some of the mothers, when they found which was Helen's or Willie's plot, got down and began pulling weeds and instructing the children about transplanting where the plants were crowded.
Several mothers have brought their cameras and taken pictures in the garden.
The neighbors say they cannot work while the children are in the garden, it is such a temptation to watch them.
People have stopped while passing to tell us what
a pleasure the gardens are to them on their way back and forth and liken it to a park with its shrubbery, green grass and spreading elm trees.
Even the rubbish heap where we hid a great many seeds is now a green mound with sunflowers, beans, morning glories and gourds in friendly proximity. We have taught the children, that through their personal efforts unsightly places can be made beautiful.
The home interest is very encouraging. One father sent some rose-bush cuttings that are growing nicely.
Tools and seeds have been inquired about and bulbs and seedlings of different kinds brought to us.
I have noticed great improvement in many back yards that heretofore have been neglected.
Several of our interested children having no yard coaxed for boxes on their porches where they planted seeds with splendid results, and in other ways show an appreciation and enjoyment of nature's blessings.
Many lessons have been quietly taught of helpfulness, self-reliance, unselfishness and respect of others' rights.
In the early evening, friends and neighbors walk carefully up and down the paths, commenting on the different things and showing a real interest in their growth.
Very little damage has ever been done and very few things taken. And this in the face of the fact, that our garden is on the line of travel from street to street, the school itself but two short blocks from our main street and in a district where there are over three thousand children within five blocks.
OUT-OF-DOOR LIFE FOR CHILDREN.
MRS. SUSAN S. HARRIMAN, TRAINING SCHOOL,
The development of a new type of American characterized by restlessness, nervousness and frailty of constitution, sadly at variance with the poise, serenity and strength of former generations, makes it imperative that children should be kept in close touch with Nature. Wealthy people have their large estates where their children may spend every season of the year out of doors. A return to the ancestral home or a modest camp by some lake is possible for those of lesser means while for the poor there are colonies which provide the same benefits in less attractive form. The settlements and churches of our large cities send many children to the country in search of red cheeks and sturdy limbs, and yet only a fraction of a city's population can be reached in this way. The majority of the children must spend the whole year in crowded tenements with only the streets for a play-ground. In New York City last year less than one hundred single houses were erected, which means that the huge population of the city lives in apartments and tenements.
Some there are who see the danger of such conditions, not only to the individual, but to the nation. These are the men and women who, having the courage of their convictions seek to improve existing conditions. What should be the part of the Kindergarten in the good work? It would be interesting to know the feeling of Froebel if he should return to earth to
visit our American Kindergarten. He probably never dreamed of such splendid buildings and equipments, but what would be his feelings as he gazed upon the the few puny straggling plants which struggle as best they may, amid unfavorable conditions, to crown with success the attempts of an earnest Kindergartener to show her children the beauty of plant life. What if he looked from the window to see only brick wall! Would he not think that we in America must be using a carefully expurgated edition of his Education of Man; one from which every reference to garden and plant life had been omitted ? In saying this I would not seem to undervalue what is done in the Kindergarten. Many are the flowers carried there, and much happiness results, but Froebel intended a wider happiness. What does the child learn from a bunch of roses? They are red and pretty and smell sweet, but he does' not know how they grow nor where, and they bear but little relation to him. Froebel meant that a child should see roses grow, watch for the first leaf, soften the earth-water it; exult in the first bud and gather the full blown rose. Here would be a process watched and a truth grasped; a spirit of nurture and communion with Nature. A child should know the joy of wading in deep grass, of racing down a grassy hillside and of resting in the shade of trees while watching clouds sail by. We believe in physical, mental, moral and spiritual development; and what offers all this more freely than out-of-door life.
And once convinced of the need of such life, how may we provide it? A Kindergarten is started in some town along most simple lines. Some day a piano is needed-and provided. Later an assistant is needed
and provided. Now a garden is needed—why should it not be provided ?
Why not gardens in our growing systems of parks within walking distance of some Kindergartens, or in our smaller parks and vacant lots ? But let us desire this good thing with all our hearts and we are promised from on high that “The desire of the righteous shall be granted.” What more righteous than a work in behalf of children?
THE KINDERGARTEN OUT-OF-DOORS.
FLORENCE E. SCOTT, NORMAL SCHOOL, FITCHBURG,
"And what would all the beauty be
And what the song that cheers,
And suppose we hadn't ears!” It is of an experiment with the children of my kindergarten that I have been asked to talk simply and briefly: a definite effort to lead them to know and to love Nature at first hand, through eyes and ears and heart. It is not enough to say to very little people,
“Come forth into the light of things
Let Nature be your teacher," and to give them perfect freedom in the open air to learn their delightful lessons. For while Nature gathers them on her knee and teaches them truths in the subtlest, wisest way, with a cunning man can only