Saturday, March 20, 2010

Growing Children in the Garden

When you take the time to teach your children to garden they are learning more than gardening. They are learning patience, responsibility, cause and effect. They are learning respect for nature, the Cycle of Life. They are learning to nurture - something many of us could take a lesson in.
There are so many places you can begin - obviously you want to help them grow something. Remember, children (and many adults) have a short attention span. You probably don't want to start with a cactus, or other slow growing, or difficult plant. Maybe a marigold or sunflower. ~ note: sunflowers can get several feet tall, make sure you will have room for it when it's big! Lettuce and radishes are great first plants, and you can eat them too!

Whatever you decide, let your child choose from a few of these choices - empower them in the project. Put them in charge of the plant's fate. Explain to them what they can expect and what is expected of them. Point out when the plant wilts and have them water, then wait to see the plant cheer up.

Maybe have them keep a simple journal and\or keep track with a digital camera (if you have one).

Gardening takes time, and it's not always on our time table. We all need to learn to slow down and enjoy the journey!

A few things you may want for your kids:

  • A ruler to measure growth
  • A real hand trowel ~ you don't like fake tools, neither will your kids!
  • Patience and Love.
  • Make it fun!
Get your kids' hands dirty!

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