Children’s Interaction with Home Garden Ecological Systems: A Conceptual Review
This paper discusses children's understandings of garden home ecology in two different settings, rural and urban. It notes that middle childhood children (aged 6-12) have a perceptual behavior towards the relationship of plant and animals in home gardens of rural and terraced houses. The theoretical background on children’s perception on the home garden ecology is derived from literature from environmental psychology, environment and behavior, childhood development, and landscape architecture. A total of 60 empirical and theoretical studies were reviewed. Five keywords were used to categorize the commonalities of children’s perception on the garden ecology. They were play, ecological interrelationship, affordances, evaluation and affection. It is found that middle childhood children gain information of the garden ecology through play in evocative manner. Play involves sensorial and motoric activities that afford the children to evaluate garden as a playscape. The children understood that plant and animals are interrelated that is one depends on the other—a scientific value. Moreover, the review suggests that children value the plant and animals as natural elements and source for play and food. Through play in the garden, they gain positive affections such as engagement, discovery, creativity, joy, wonder and adventure.
Keywords: Garden Ecology, Perception, Affordances, Play, Middle Childhood Children
Mohd Suhaizan Shamsuddin
Student, Department of Landscape Architecture, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Dr. Ismail Said
Associate Professor, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia