The vegetable garden and didactics farm offer a journey inside nature that permit the child to discover and comprehend the rhythm of the growing plants and animals. Jean Piaget claimed that for the complete cognitive development of the child, a fertile and multisensory environment is required, which reproduces in a symbiotic way the shapes, surfaces, colours, smells, tastes and sounds of the real world.
To take care of an allotment provides an opportunity of personal growth and allows for the development of dexterity and a genuine relationship with nature. Through the planting, growing and harvesting activities the child learns to recognise the production cycle of the fruits and vegetables derived from the land and develops a healthy relationship with nature and food.
The activities of farming require constant dedication and time management skills: in this way the child develops his skill to manage long term projects and learns to select and value food using his perceptual sensitivity.
In addition to the allotment, the school also has a didactic farm; a very effective educational instrument. The child is involved in an active way and can personally discover the world of nature.
In the farm the child does not only learn the general concepts, but he can take control of the learning process through his direct experience. The contact with the animals and the activities in close contact with their environment stimulates the affective and emotive dimension of a child to share sensations, emotions and feelings with other children.
The interaction with animals can only be positive: dog, cat or horse become a kind of extension to oneself, which allows the child to increase his self esteem and expressive repertoire, and to manage his emotional impulses better. Furthermore, the relationship with animals stimulates interest, the ability to pay attention, concentration, the imagination and fantasy.
The body can also benefit from interaction with animals: it is in fact possible to acquire new motor skills and develop the postural repertoire and static control of the body, that improves the physical autonomy, balance and coordination.