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Summer in the garden

To identify the garden as a place where our five senses are restored.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To identify the garden as a place where our five senses are restored.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the quote, ‘The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses’, by Hannah Rion, written out on a large piece of paper or shown on a whiteboard or screen.
  • Also have available an item that is in need of a bit of restoration or repair.
  • Optional, download some birdsong (visit: or other garden sounds and have the means to play them during the assembly.


  1. Show the children the item that is in need of a bit of restoration or repair and explain what ‘restoring‘ means. Explain how much you like the item, use it, appreciate it, even though you know it is not at its best.
  2. Ask, ‘Are there any bits of us that need to be restored today?’ Talk about how, hopefully, all of the children will have been restored after a good night’s sleep. How, hopefully, they will have the energy for another day by having had a good breakfast and, perhaps, some of them will have walked to school and had some exercise. How we all need to be restored regularly.
  3. Hopefully the summer break will be a time of restoration for children and staff alike. We can all leave behind the stuffiness of classrooms and get outside and enjoy long days of, hopefully, warm summer weather with, maybe, a bit of rain for the gardens.
  4. Show the children the displayed quote and consider it together.
  5. Ask the children to shut their eyes for a few moments and think of a garden. This could be their own garden, a park, the garden of a house they have visited, even a garden centre.
  6. Ask a few children to complete the sentence, ‘When I think of a garden, I think of . . .’ Identify things that relate to all the five senses in the children’s suggestions. Some staff members could be primed beforehand to add in any of the senses the children don’t mention. For example, they could mention a scent they like or something they heard in a garden. A garden is a place where we see, hear, smell, taste and touch beauty.
  7. Ask if anyone has come away from time in a garden feeling tense, irritable?

    Talk about how a garden has a restful effect on us. It is a gift, somewhere we can be restored. Suggest that we all need to spend time in a garden this summer.

  8. Point out how we shouldn’t be so surprised about the positive effects a garden can have on us. After all, the Bible tells us that when God made people in his image, he placed them in a beautiful garden and it was there, every evening, when it became a little cooler, that God would come and sit and talk with his friends.
  9. End by encouraging the children to find a garden to enjoy this summer.

Time for reflection

Listen to the birdsong or other garden sounds at this point, if using.

Thank you, God,
for eyes to see, ears to hear, for our senses of smell and taste and touch.
Thank you for your beautiful creation.
Help us to take time to enjoy it this summer,
to be refreshed and restored as you intended us to be.


‘All things bright and beautiful’ (Come and Praise, 3)

Publication date: June 2013   (Vol.15 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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