Gardening teaches children life cycles of plants, provides lessons in nuture as children learn to take care of the plants they are tending and it gives them time outside. Ah–fresh air.
For young children, it’s good to provide equipment that they can manipulate. Child sized shovels, large spoons, slotted spoons, or plastic spoons for digging. If you don’t have access to those things, look for a good stick that they can use as an instrument to “dig” in the dirt. Offer magifying glasses for exploring the dirt. For your children that don’t like to get their hands dirty, offer child-sized gardening gloves. You can even make a bug house from a box, with holes punched into the lid, for air. You never know when you might discover a roly-poly or a worm!
Once you have your garden planned, add markers so the children have a visual of what has been planted.
For added interest, you can sometime find seed packets at the grocery. Get two of each and once the seeds are planted, you can create matching cards from these. (You can do the same from canned fruit and vegetable labels!)
One final tip…set aside a place for collections such as rocks, acorns and sticks. Find a container where they can store their treasures that work for both of you.
I hope you can get outside and if you need a good resource, check out: Gardening with Young Childre, by Sara Starbuck, Marla Olthof and Karen Midden, –Readleaf Press.
I will see you tomorrow.