At the Garden of the Senses, children move through the garden either by foot or wheelchair. Being “in” the garden is more engaging than looking “at” it. The sensory garden encourages interaction with the environment. Sitting, standing and climbing areas include benches, logs, rocks, and bridges. There are a variety of places to walk and move by foot or wheelchair. Paths have different types of surfaces as well as a variety of incline and steps. It includes a sand box and designated “dirt digging spots” that are accessible and inclusive for children of all abilities. Benefits include: improvement in fine and gross motor skills; hands‐on and multi‐sensory learning; reduction in stress, anxiety, and aggressive behaviors; increase in self‐esteem; and promotes responsibility and interaction with nature.
In this program, participants will:
1. Tour the Garden of the Senses, using their five senses of scent, sight, sound, taste and touch to explore the garden up close.
2. Get their hands in the soil, participating in one of our programs, dependent on age and abilities:
- Soil Sorting (Pre-School, age 2-4)
- Soil Detectives (JK/SK, Grade 1, age 4-6)
- Bug Hotel (Grade 2, age 7+)
- Plant a Garden (Grade 3, age 8+)
- All Food Begins with a Plant (Grade 3, age 8+)
3. Plant a seed to take home. Older children will split and transplant a plant to take home, learning about propagation and roots.
- Sand play
- Soil digging
- Water play
- Reading rocks for story time
- Logs, stones, bridges
- Hopscotch stepping stones
- Children’s cottage garden shed (with lots of play inside!)
- And lots of garden toys, equipment and natural items!
Garden of the Senses is for:
Summer Camp Field Trips
Summer is all about being outside, whether it’s sunny or rainy, and our hands-on gardening programs give your participants a chance to get their hands dirty! Starting from pre-school age to older children/youth, our garden program with adaptable activities is sure to enhance your summer programming.
Children/Youth with Special Needs
Our garden and programming provide "real world" examples and experiences that boost learning for participants who thrive on practical instruction. Activities in the garden are adapted for various skill levels and allow children to connect with nature and each other in unique and important ways.
School/Pre-School Field Trips
Teachers, this is not just an ordinary garden tour! Get excited about a field trip where your students will get their hands in the dirt, get up close to the plants and have fun learning. You’ll know the learning will be participatory, inquiry-based, and centered on the Ontario elementary science curriculum, but they’ll only know they’re having fun! Click here to see how our program fits the Ontario science curriculum (JK/SK/Grades 1-3) and how pre-schoolers will use play-based learning/Reggio Emilia. For older children/youth, contact us to discuss how we can adapt our garden activities to fit your needs.
$6.00 per child. Maximum 29 children in one group*.
$7.00 per child for the programs "Plant a Garden" and "All Food Begins with a Plant". Maximum 22 children in one group*.
Minimum group charge of $120.00.
There is no charge for teachers or parents/volunteers assisting with children. No HST.
* For groups with children/youth with special needs, a maximum group size of 10-12 is recommended.
To book the Children’s Program:
Prepare children for a successful visit to the garden with these helpful documents:
After visiting with us, we highly recommend visiting our neighbour, Willow Park Ecology Centre!