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Gardening With Your Kids! - Blog

Gardening With Your Kids!

Gardening is a wonderful activity that enables children to learn many valuable life skills, such as responsibility, cause and effect and reward. It's also part of STREAM learning! Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can get started very easily with only a small pot, seeds, soil and water!

Any child care expert, daycare center or parent can tell you that preschool children and toddlers are ACTIVE learners. They have a natural curiosity that requires direct sensory experience rather than conceptual generalization.  They want to feel and touch, taste, see and smell! Gardens are perfect for this type of learning!

The benefits of gardening with children are priceless. Planting seeds and watching them grow helps children discover the environment, the growth process and the food they eat. Weeding and watering a garden helps children to get exercise and practice responsibility and routines. And, the weather can offer valuable lessons about the need for water and the absence of it, and the science of climate.

Tips for a Successful Garden
1. Start small.  It's easy to start with a small garden in the backyard or even a garden planter in the house to foster your child's interest in getting their hands dirty and to bring your family the many benefits growing a garden can provide.

2. Plant something easy. Sugar snap peas are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and seedlings can sprout in only a week, which helps little children not to lose interest. The vegetables taste sweet, are crunchy and can become a super lunchbox snack.  Sunflowers also make a good choice as they start out small in pots and can be planted outside later in the season. The flowers, when fully grown, are amazing and will feel like a real accomplishment to a young child.

3. Get children involved.  Keep your little one interested! The best education occurs when the emphasis is more on joining the child in hands-on interaction, play and discovery than on teaching concepts. Let your child dig, place the seeds and water the garden. Toddlers and preschoolers love to use a small watering can, too.

Research shows that  a child develops more rapidly with practice, so if you are not successful the first time, try, try again (as the saying goes). It takes practice to figure out the right amount of water and sun, but soon enough you and your child will have success!

Happy Gardening! 

Tags: #STEM # STREAM # Family Life


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