Gardening with Children
By Jill Black
Starting a small garden is an excellent way for children to
learn how to care for the environment and gain an appreciation for the many
birds and insects with whom we share our gardens. It is also serves as an
introduction to the changing weather patterns and the seasonal cycles of
nature from planting the seed, harvesting (e.g. picking and drying flowers
or collecting the seed) and then preparing for the next season.
If you can, set aside a special area in the garden where they
can grow the flowers and vegetables of their choice. Decide what kind of garden
your child wants - butterfly, herb, flower, vegetable etc.
Sketch a plan for the garden and mark off the area in the
garden. Turn the soil breaking up any lumps and condition with organic compost
Tip: Buy child sized gloves, gardening tools and watering can to
make the project fun and more real.
If you don't have a suitable area of ground use container pots,
planter boxes, or even an old half wine barrel will do.
With very young children it is easier to grow flowers directly
from seed. The roots on seedlings easily become damaged as they take them from
the pots and transplant into the soil.
Let children choose their own plants and look for easy
germinating types such as Cosmos, Snapdragons, Sunflowers or spring bulbs such
as Daffodils as young children are typically impatient waiting for plants to
germinate and grow.
For vegetables - carrots, peas and strawberries tend to be a
favorite as they are easy to grow and great to eat.
Create a garden journal and take photos as the project
progresses so your child will have something to remember over the winter months
until the next season begins.
© J Black. To read more articles by this author visit Jill today at
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