The Superhero Garden Project

Outdoor Gardening in Early Childhood Education in the United Arab Emirates


  • Anna Marie Dillon
  • Edward Nichols
  • Asia Foster


desert environment, garden learning experiences, outdoor education, early childhood education, laboratory school


The Early Childhood Learning Center featured in this report isan on-campus university laboratory nursery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The center staff provided opportunities for the children to engage incollaborative partnerships withtwo colleges at the university. The children utilized newly developed outdoor gardening spaces to explore how the natural environment functions within a unique desertclimate. By engaging with plants thathad perceived“superpowers”such as climbing and providing food, the children were offered rich classroom experiences in the specific environmental context of the UAE. The Superhero Garden Project provided an excellent start for generating interest in gardensas places of growth, beauty and healing among children, teachers and the faculty, as well as benefiting children’s learning.