Spring is a wonderful season when the snow starts melting and the earth starts to bloom. It is a great time to spend time outdoors with your child and start teaching them about how plant-life grows. This blog post will give you great ideas for activities you can do with your child to teach him or her about growing plants. Whether you are doing experiments, growing flowers, or vegetables, gardening is a wonderful activity for adults and children alike.
For Little ones…
For younger children it is a joy to spend time outside, but it can be hard to learn how to be gentle and caring for plants. You can start with your little ones by giving them a watering can with a little water and letting them water your houseplants, flowers, or vegetable garden. Little hands love to ‘play’ in the dirt, perfect for covering seeds or planting them.
Try teaching the names of common spring flowers like tulips or lilacs. Try smelling flowers, do they smell good or bad or like nothing? If your little one is still learning colors, the bright flowers of spring are a great opportunity to practice. Depending on their age, you can also buy some larger seeds and plant one in a cup and put it on the windowsill. Seeds from beans and sunflowers work really well for this. It is exciting for children to take responsibility for watering the seed and watching it become a plant.
Try science experiments…
Teach your child about what plants need; light, water, air, etc. Ask your kid if he or she could live without any of these things, can plants? Try an experiment with three seeds. Wrap each seed in damp paper towels and put each one in a sealed plastic bag. Put one bag in a dark place, one in a sunny window, and one in a dry paper towel. Make predictions and check the seeds after a couple of days. How did they do?
You can also try planting seeds in different types of earth. Try planting seeds in sand, soil, clay, mixes of sand/soil, sand/clay, etc. Which do you think they will grow best in? Why? It’s a good opportunity to learn about soil quality. What kind of soil do you have in your backyard? Maybe stop by a gardening center and talk to an expert about soil quality.
Try growing fruit or vegetables
Being able to grow food from a tiny seed is amazing. Get a selection of seeds and ask your child if he or she can identify which fruits or vegetables they came from. If you don’t have access to a backyard garden, try to find a community garden. If that is not possible, growing tomatoes on a balcony is promising.
For indoor gardening or starting seeds, the Get Growing Greenhouse is a great way to start. It includes three small pots, three seed packets, and a small greenhouse for starting off. After your plants start outgrowing the pots, transplanting to the garden is easy.
When flowers appear on the plants, watch closely as they turn into the vegetables and fruits. Strawberries are fun to grow and a delicious treat when ripe. You can grow all the ingredients for a salad or to top hamburgers. It may be a long wait until mid-late summer when your meal is ready, but it will be worth it. Eating the fruits of your labour is an amazing feeling and will fill your little one with pride. This is a great idea for picky eaters too. It is hard to say no to eating your very own food.
Try growing flowers
Planting flowers is a wonderful hobby and makes your house even more beautiful. Try planting flowers in pots or the ground. Take your little gardener to the local greenhouse and let them help picking out flowers to plant this year. Make sure to check the last frost date to make sure it is safe to plant your delicate flowers. After you get home your helper can learn how to dig the holes, separate roots, and plant those flowers. As it gets hotter your child can help with watering.
If you are feeling ambitious, you and your child can plant a few tulip or hyacinth bulbs in the fall to enjoy next spring. It is always fun to look forward to the spring and seeing your flowers grow.
Gardening activities with your children
Spring is a great time to get outside and spend some quality time growing plants with your children. Read this blog to learn tips and tricks to enjoy planting season with your child.