As we see the first signs of the crocus and cherry blossom buds, many of us are getting the gardening itch! Perhaps you have dug through the shed to find your seed planting flats and shaken out your gardening gloves in anticipation of spring, well you’re not alone! Anticipation of spring, growth and new life is a great treasure to share with children. I remember cultivating a love for gardening as a young child with my grandfather who loved to grow anything edible. I didn’t realize it then, but my education in botany was really rather extensive and included lessons on the care of specific plants, the characteristics of different varieties of tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, and even tree grafting! Sharing a love of gardening with my children has been a joy we all share- even if they won’t eat the veggies that they work so hard to grow!
Don’t fret if your only real estate is a sunny window sill, you an your children can still enjoy gardening. If you head down to your local hardware or gardening shop, you can pick up a growing kit very inexpensively. Where you will want to spend your money is on a bag of good, organic soil and and seeds. At this time of year, your seedlings should be started indoors to avoid damage to frost and a sunny window sill is the perfect spot.
Your Child-Friendly Planting Activity
Lay out a large garbage bag on the floor or table and dump out a pile of soil. Let the children fill the pots with the soil. Next, they can use their fingers to create a hole in the soil to drop the seeds. Cover the seeds with soil, water and wait! Watering every couple of days should be enough unless you are keeping your planting pots near a heat source, then they should be watered daily.
To learn more about your plants, you and your children can visit the library and take out books about the plants you have selected or browse the internet together to find out how to best care for your chosen plants.
The children can decorate the flower pots in advance with stickers or make labels to place on a popsicle stick to identify the different potted plants. The possibilities for creativity are endless!