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School Tours

Education, Nature and Horticulture is a large part of the Festina Lente ethos and we welcome school tours here in Festina Lente Gardens throughout the year on Mondays & Fridays.  We can offer you a variety of nature themed workshops which are listed below.

We cater for all different ages and group sizes and we have two indoor & outdoor programmes depending on the number of children in your group and the time of year and weather.  Our programmes run for 5 hours with arrival time of your coach at 9:30 finishing with lunch and your departure at 2:30pm.  Price is €15 per child.  We can create a bespoke programme if you want a shorter or longer programme, just let us know.  All staff & volunteers have been Garda vetted and we have a child protection policy in place.

We have lunch time areas for the children, both indoor and outdoor depending on the weather.

If you are interested in finding out more or booking in your school please email andrea@festinalente.ie.

Programme 1 for a Group of 10-36 children

Children will get the option of 3 fun & educational hour long activity workshops. Choose 3 Activities from this list below:

Programme 1 Activity 1: Herb Walk & Make Homemade Soap:

Take a super sensory walk around the garden to discover different herbs. How many herbs can you identify? Smell and taste them… What uses do herbs have in cooking or medicinally? Make soap to take home using some of the scents experienced today. The children choose their own colours and use flowers, plants & essential oils to fragrance their soaps. Find out about the plants and flowers used in these oils, see how long it takes your soap to set, then wrap in cellophane with a beautiful ribbon to take home.

Programme 1 Activity 2: Learn about Irish Birds and Make a Bird House or Bird Feeder:

How many garden birds can you recognize? Why is it good to have them in the garden? Make them a home! Use recycled materials to make a cosy Bird Nesting Box or Bird Feeder to hang up in your garden to encourage and help your feathered friends to stay and raise a family or have a feast from your bird feeder. Decorate your nesting box or bird feeder with coloured paper and birdie cut outs, hang it up at home and watch the birds enjoy it!


Programme 1 Activity 3: Scavenger Hunt & Make a Nature Collage:

Hunt around the gardens and woodland to find the things on your list. A pinecone? A flower? Got it! Bring it back to the craft room and use your nature stuff to make a beautiful collage to take home.

Programme 1 Activity 4: Mini Beast Hunt & Make a Ladybird House:

Be a nature detective! Note different butterflies, bees, caterpillars and ladybirds in the flower border, go fishing in the fountain for water boatmen, pond skaters and dragonfly larvae. Turn over rocks and logs in the woodland to discover woodlice, centipedes and beetles. Children become familiar with ‘creepy crawlies’ and learn about the importance of their place in the environment as part of the food web. What do they eat? Where do they go in winter? Make a cosy ladybird house to take home.

Programme 1 Activity 5: Make a Funky Flower Pot & Plant with Flowers or Vegetables:

Decorate your own terracotta pot to a high standard and plant up with bedding plants. Children choose from a number of samples and create their own decoupage design to decorate their pot. This workshop challenges children’s hand-eye coordination in cutting out fine material and gluing it on to their pot. When dry, the children will plant up their pot with flowers or Vegetables to take home. A hugely creative and rewarding project.

Programme 1 Activity 6: Learn about Trees & Make a Tree of Life Poster:

Every tree is a treasure trove- a home, a shelter, a source of food for bees, butterflies, birds and small mammals. It’s a source of fruit, shade, timber and a living thing of beauty. Learn about different native trees and the biodiversity they support. The children pick a tree in a lucky dip and find ‘their’ tree in the garden or woodland. They make leaf rubbings, stick these on to their own giant tree poster, add cut outs of all the wildlife specific to their tree, laminate it ready to take home, and appreciate the amazing amount of life just one tree supports.

Programme 1 Activity 7: Heritage Walk & Victorian Games:

What better place than a Victorian Garden to step back in time and experience the beautiful surroundings of Festina Lente? Don your bonnet or top hat and become Victorian Ladies and Gentlemen for a while. Explore the history of the house and gardens through old photographs, then tour the gardens and land to see what’s changed… how the gardens would be planted and kept, find out what Victorian children did at school or work or play, and experience some traditional Victorian games.

Programme 1 Activity 8: Herb Walk and Plant up a Window Box:

Discover different herbs growing in the garden… Smell and taste them… what herbs do you know? What uses do they have, either medicinally or culinary? Plant up a herb pot to take home.

Programme 1 Activity 9: Learn about Flowers & Plants in Essential Oils & Make Scented Candles:

The properties of wax… from flakes to liquid to a solid candle… melt the wax to make a beautiful candle in a little jar, add colour, essential oils for fragrance, and leave to set. We use soy wax for our candles which is more eco-friendly than paraffin wax.

Programme 1 Activity 10: Learn about Ponies & Their Contribution to Nature & Pony Grooming Session:

Learn about how to care for ponies and horses and learn how to groom them.  Learn about how to help the birds line their nests with horse hair and how to make horse manure tea specially for your garden to help your plants grow.

If you are interested in finding out more or booking in your school please email andrea@festinalente.ie.

Programme 2 for a Group of 37-60 children

Children will get the option of 5 fun & educational half hour long activity workshops. Choose 5 Activities from this list below:

Programme 2 Activity 1: Learn the different Irish Birds and Make a Bird House or Bird Feeder:

Learn about the different Irish Garden Birds! Use recycled materials to make a Bird Feeder to hang up in your garden to help feed our feathered friends. Decorate your bird feeder, hang it up at home and watch the birds enjoy it!

Programme 2 Activity 2: Make Scented Candles:

The properties of wax… from flakes to liquid to a solid candle… melt the wax to make a beautiful candle in a little jar, add colour, essential oils for fragrance, and leave to set. We use soy wax for our candles which is more eco-friendly than paraffin wax.

Programme 2 Activity 3: Make Homemade Soap:

The children choose their own colours and use flowers, plants & essential oils to make and fragrance their homemade soaps. Find out about the plants and flowers used in these oils, see how long it takes your soap to set, then wrap in cellophane with a beautiful ribbon to take home.

Programme 2 Activity 4: Make Homemade Bird Treats:

Help our feathered friends out by making tasty and nutritious homemade bird treats to bring home and hang in your garden.

Programme 2 Activity 5: Make a Funky Flower Pot:

Decorate your own terracotta pot to look cool, fun & funky. Children choose from a number of samples and create their own decoupage design to decorate their pot. This workshop challenges children’s hand-eye coordination in cutting out fine material and gluing it on to their pot.

Programme 2 Activity 6: Planting your Own Vegetables:

Depending on the time of the year we will help the children plant a vegetable plant seedling, learn about caring for that vegetable when they take it home.

Programme 2 Activity 7: Scavenger Hunt:

Hunt around the gardens and woodland to find the things on your list. A pinecone? A flower? Got it! We will provide a bag for each child to bring home their collection if they wish!

Programme 2 Activity 8: Learn about Ponies & Their Contribution to Nature:

Learn about how to care for ponies and horses learn about how to help the birds line their nests with horse hair and how to make horse manure tea specially for your garden to help your plants grow.

Programme 2 Activity 9: Learn about Ponies & Pony Grooming Session:

Learn about how to care for ponies and horses and learn how to groom them.

For Information please note that:

♦ Groups must be accompanied by at least one adult leader (ideally one to every ten students).

♦ Accompanying leaders must remain with their group at all times and are responsible for the conduct and behaviour of the group

♦ Children are advised to bring full raingear, wellington boots and a change of clothes. As our activities are very hands on we encourage children to wear old clothes that parents don’t mind getting mucky!

♦ Please bring a packed lunch

 

Book a Tour or Enquiries

If you are interested in finding out more or booking in your school please email andrea@festinalente.ie.

When emailing us please provide the following:

♦ Number of students
♦ Number of supervisors
♦ Date of visit
♦ Time of arrival/ departure
♦ Age of group
♦ Details of any special needs etc.
♦ Any special requests regarding content

After you have first booked your tour with Andrea you can then click here to pay online.