Friday, August 13, 2010

Children And Gardening: Have Fun With Nature

Children And Gardening: Have Fun With Nature

Children's experience with gardening will nurture their natural fascination with nature and help instill a lifelong respect for the environment. Nurture their natural fascination with nature and help instill a lifelong respect for the environment.

Difficulty Level: average Time Required: 20 minutes to a day

Here's How:

  1. Work with large seeds that are easy for children to handle.
  2. Plant a round 'pizza garden' with 'slices' of green peppers, tomatoes, onions and any other veggies they might enjoy. Include basil, parsley and oregano.
  3. Grow sunflowers for a summer bird garden.
  4. Create a living 'tee-pee' with running vines or tall sunflowers by training them on tall stakes that are tied together at the top with twine.
  5. Allow children to carve their name into young pumpkins on the vine; at harvest allow them to keep their personalized pumpkin.
  6. Help a child maintain a pint-sized garden around a playhouse.
  7. Mix radish seeds with carrot seeds and scatter them in a cool season garden. The radishes mature quickly and can be harvested making more space for the baby carrots to grow.
  8. Grow real grass in Easter baskets with annual rye grass seed, garden soil and a plastic liner in the bottom of the basket. Begin this 2 weeks before Easter for best results.
  9. Plant a theme garden to learn about colonial life, birds, butterflies, or even Shakespeare. Place white flowers such as carnations or daisies in a mixture of water and food coloring to see the flowers change colors.
  10. Grow lush sweet potato vines by immersing potatoes halfway into a small jar of water; place them in a sunny window.
  11. Grow new plants from grocery store produce such as avacados, garlic cloves, ginger root or pineapple.
  12. In late fall, force several types of bulbs in layers in one container and allow the child to give the blooming pot as a holiday gift.
  13. Consider a Knot Garden of herbs; at the end of the growing season, hang them to dry and package them in small jars for holiday gifts.
  14. Children can design and print out their own custom labels.
  15. Create a terrarrium from an old aquarium or fishbowl.

Grow veggies your child likes to eat; and don't make him/her eat it just because they grew it.
Mix annual flowers in with veggie gardens.
Help with difficult tasks such as bringing around the water hose or carrying heavy loads. And if possible, use child-sized tools.

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