Plant a Garden With Your Kids
Kids love to play in dirt-well my son does anyway. A garden is a great place for a child to discover and explore the natural world around them.
Summer vacation is fast approaching and planting a garden or seeds is a fun thing to do with your child at home or in a classroom.
Different plants need different amounts of sunshine to grow. Read the packages of seeds and it will tell you just how much sunlight each type of plant needs. Once you have chosen your seeds, pick a spot and plant them. After they have been planted you need to water them regularly so that they will grow and you will be able to harvest them!
Children love the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life first hand! The benefits can extend beyond the initial learning and exercise that comes with planting and maintaining a garden.
This is a great way to teach environmental awareness and make children stewards of the land. By exploring the wonders of nature they will gain a real appreciation for the difference that they can make for the earth and will learn that they are capable of making decisions and changes that will help create a greener planet.
The best part of gardening is watching a child’s interest and self esteem grow as their gardening efforts yield good results. There are cool things that occur in nature! From seed to plant and maybe even a fruit or vegetable, children learn a tremendous amount from gardening. They are learning lessons in science and if you are growing plants that produce food, it’s an opportunity to teach them about nutrition, too!
Research shows a correlation between an increase in childhood obesity and a decrease in the time children spend outdoors. This has resulted in parents becoming actively engaged in getting their children to exercise and make good healthy eating choices. With guidance, children will learn to make better choices about the food they eat and about the exercise they should be participating in daily.
To extend your child’s learning you can encourage child created art and craft projects, journaling the progress that their garden is making, and even some cooking projects with the harvested products of the garden.
Kids are still kids, and can get bored or discouraged if they don’t see results quickly. Try planting some fast growing crops like carrots and radishes.
You could also plant a Butterfly Garden. By planting certain flowers and herbs, you can attract butterflies. This is also a great way to see nature up close.
Butterflies are attracted to:
Annuals such as impatiens, marigolds, phlox, sunflowers and zinnias.Perennials such as asters, butterfly weed, chrysanthemums, and daisies.Wildflowers such as bergamots, black eyed Susan, and boneset.Planting parsley to attract caterpillars will help generate a very active butterfly garden.
No matter what you decide to plant, have fun! It is a great way to spend time with your children!
Beth Costanzo M Ed.
The Adventures of Scuba Jack