Principle 6


Treat the garden as a unique and inclusive space for kids who might find classroom learning difficult.
Think about

Learning Isn't One Size Fits All

Sensory gardens are a tool that engages kids in a different type of learning environment, and is especially effective for special needs kids that have a hard time learning in the classroom.Treat your school garden as a unique and inclusive space for kids who struggle in traditional learning environments. Some benefits of a school garden for kids with different learning abilities includes improved motor skills, enhanced creativity, increased social skills and improved self-confidence. Gardening also a powerful tool for mental health as it reduces stress and helps children cope with anxiety and frustration.
A Guide to Sensory Education

Liz Reid's Garden

Check out Gardening Australia's episode that explores a sensory garden design for kids with learning diabilities.

Watch Now

The 5 Senses

Tall plants like bamboo make sounds when the wind blows through, as do other short tufty plants. In the autumn some of the plants throw out seed packets which rattle. You can also hang items from trees such as wind chimes. Water features can also be a useful addition, if there is space.


Green, yellow, pink and more! Including trellises can also be good because you can grow climbers up it. It also provides privacy for the children in the garden. The biggest impact will be from the trees, which should always be evergreen so children can use the garden all year round.


Choose flowers that are highly scented, or shrubs like lime or kumquat as when you rub the leaves they give out a fragrant, aromatic smell. Timber smells great when it dries out too. Flowers, herbs and leaves all give off different smells. Lavender and rosemary are two classic pungent plants.
Every single plant has a different feeling - wide, narrow, elliptical, oval or hairy. Touch sensations can also be achieved using ground surfaces such as mosaics, pebbles, gravel, timber and polished glass pieces.


A fruit and vegetable garden are the easiest ways for a school garden to stimulate this senses. Think of including different herbs with strong tastes, like mint or basil. Berries and fruits can also be explosions for the tastebuds!
Taste Education Kit
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