When I am out in the garden or in nature with my kids, there is so much more growing than just the plants and flowers. We are growing ideas, we are growing bonds and we are growing minds. As a mother, I tend to keep all of those teaching moments hidden behind the glee of getting our hands and feet dirty and having lots of fun, but the learning is inherent in the soil.
It often happens to children – and sometimes to gardeners – that they are
given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later.
– Wayne Winterrowd
Gardening helps my kids learn about seeding, nurturing, growth and insects their habits. In fact, gardens are sometimes like outdoor classrooms where curiosity comes alive. Consider adding a children’s garden in your backyard.
Set aside a small plot of soil. One metre squared is big enough. If this is not possible, window boxes or containers are great options for kids too.
Like most kids, mine don’t have much patience and are always eager to see quick results for their efforts. Sow fast germinating seeds or transplant plants that are quick to flower. Make sure kids are part of the plant selection process.
Add a few elements to your garden that will attract wildlife. Think about hummingbird feeders, bird houses or bird baths or maybe even a toad home.
Don’t forget to make the tools kid sized and take the time to show your childrent how to use them safely. You could also use everyday tools found in the kitchen such as spoons, measuring cups and pie plates.
Use natural fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides.
Visit your garden every day to see what’s happening. Flowers opening, butterflies appearing and ladybug visitors are the best rewards for young gardeners.
Let the kids give garden tours when visitors come. They should be proud of their hard work.
Keep a journal whether in a book or using photos. Kids love to look back at their accomplishments. Journals are a great tool to reinforce learning.
Beat the Winter Blahs with some Spring Flowers
What a lovely winter we are having this spring. If you are like me, you are waiting for the first signs of spring and likely have a bad case of the winter blahs. I have decided to take matters into my own hands this week and bring a little spring into my house. This cheery little flower patch is great fun to make with kids big and small. We are going to hang ours on the front door to remind spring…. It’s time.
You will need
Paper egg carton
Paint and brushes
Beads and sparkles
Glue gun and glue sticks
Empty cereal box
Green construction paper
1 . Cut the top off the egg carton and cut out the individual cups.
2. Cut down the side of each cup to make petals. Cut about 2/3 of the way down the sides in four spots.
3. Fold the sections down to make four petals.
4. Squeeze paint out onto a tray or plate.
5. Paint the flowers in bright Spring colours.
6. Heat up the glue gun.
7. Pool a little hot glue inside the flower and fill with beads and sparkles.
8. Create a base for the wreath / patch using the cereal box.
9. Trace this shape onto the green construction paper or paint it green.
10. Glue the flowers to the base once both are dry.
11. Make a hole in the top of the base and use sting or ribbon to make a hanger.
12. Hand your flower patch to remind Spring that it is time sprout.