Whatever your reasons, gardening is a super fun activity that you can enjoy in your own backyard or community garden!
Here are some great tips to help you get started:
Start Early. The toddler years are the perfect time to start building a garden. You can encourage your children to take part in gardening with simple tasks like watering the houseplants or outdoor garden. When you’re ready to start building an outdoor garden, begin planning early so you’re ready when the nice weather hits. Encourage your children to take part in the gardening process starting from the first time you plant the seeds.
Encourage Involvement. Keep your kids interested by involving them in the entire gardening process. Ask them questions while teaching what plants need to grow. Depending on your child’s age, you can also encourage your child to take the lead. Encourage them to choose where you plant the seeds and allow them to plant the seed on their own.
Encourage Exploration. Play-based learning is one of the most effective methods of teaching. You can support the exploration not only with the garden, but also by growing plants that attract wildlife. Plants that attract insects will also pollinate your flowers, helping you get a good crop of vegetables!
Take Pictures. Encourage your children to take pictures of the plants throughout each stage of growth. This will help keep your children involved in the process while you’re waiting for the plants to grow.
Choose Your Plants Carefully. Try to choose plants that don’t require a lot of work. Sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, potatoes and snow peas are among the best options for children. Aim for plants that grow quickly or easily.
Harvest Together. If you decide to build a vegetable garden, encourage your children to help you harvest the garden. This is the stage of growing that you’ve been waiting for, and involving your children may encourage them to eat more vegetables at your next meal.
Make it Fun! Let your kids explore and get messy in the garden. Exploration is nature is an exciting experience that can lead to many teachable moments that are fun for you and your children.
Make sure to wear hats and tons of sunscreen when you are spending time outdoors gardening. Enjoy your garden!
Interested in learning how we incorporate gardening in our child care program? Contact us today for more information!
About Discovery Child Care
Barrie Based Discovery Child Care brings nature into the classroom and takes the classroom into nature, offering an environmentally aware foundation of early learning for children, from infants to school-age. We follow an Emergent Curriculum philosophy which means, your child will be provided with hands-on, play-based learning opportunities that will encourage active exploration, autonomy, choice, problem solving and plain old fun! Your child’s individual interests, abilities and needs will be considered when planning our indoor and outdoor programs. For more information, visit http://www.discoverychild.on.ca