Family Gardening Tips For Preschool Gardening. Sharing your love of gardening with your children and grandchildren.
When Learning Is Fun, It’s A Win-Win.
Preschoolers do not have long attention spans it’s true, but they can remember, and they do get excited. The key to educating young children is getting them to take an active part in the process. And what better classroom can there be than outside in a vegetable garden.
While it’s certainly necessary for there to be some level of memorization in education, this is only one part of the learning process. Focusing on it solely will feed into a lack of creative potential which may have children, especially very young ones losing interest quite quickly. The more you can involve their hands in learning the more excited your child or grandchild will be about anything you want to teach them.
Getting the balance right is necessary from the very beginning. It’s best to start early with children to help get around love to learn early on. Children (especially preschoolers) are hands-on and the more you can get their hands dirty the more excited they will be to learn.
Actually that is kind of the point of childhood. No child wants to be stuck in a stuffy room all day long learning facts. A child wants to explore the big wide world. And for that reason, gardening is a perfect fit. Not only does it allow them to get their hands dirty, it teaches them how to plant the seeds, how much to water, and how to encourage those plants to grow throughout the entire season. They really get to witness the miracle of life and growth first hand in a preschool garden.
A lesson that is more valuable than they may realize right now.
The Great Outdoors
Children, as a general rule, love to be outside. It never ceases to amaze me how two young boys can find endless adventures in a small dirt pile. Their curiosity is something every child is born with and a great resource to tap into when you are teaching them something new.
When home teaching, it is best to really lean into that wonder. Show them the different plants you can grow in your area.
Allow them to touch, feel, and smell. Use all of their senses to really get them excited to plant those seedlings in the ground and watch them grow.
If you’re in a colder climate, you may have to move certain plants indoors at least when first starting out. You can start to grow a garden using some cups, soil, water, and light.
If you are in a warmer climate you can get outside a bit sooner and begin teaching the skills of turning the soil and preparing the ground for spring planting.
How to Turn Preschool Gardening Into a Life-Long Lesson
Commonly, preschool, kindergarten, or first-grade gardening education usually involves placing a bean in wet paper towel and then transplanted into a small cup with soil to sprout. This is a great way to introduce gardening to youngsters in a classroom but today at home we can really take this to a more exciting level.
Allowing children to get their hands in the ground and watch something grow from seed to harvest is a wonderful and exciting way to pass on a love for growing your own food.
It’s true that most young ones may not get overly excited over eating their vegetables, but if they can pull the carrot from the ground, it may just make a world of difference. Also, what child between the ages of three and five do you know that doesn’t like to play in the dirt? Even little girls have fun in the mud.
And when it comes to water–that’s a perfect fit for toddlers. Not only will they love the very act of digging in the dirt, planting the seed, and watering, they’ll begin to associate the fun of gardening with learning.
Instilling Healthy Habits Early On
In addition to helping your preschooler learn, you will also help them eat healthier foods without too much fuss. It’s a win-win for any parent or grandparent that has struggled with dinner time battles. Children love to play pretend; when they can bring their imagined food prep to life, that’s a big deal for them.
When preschool gardening, it is best to plant a variety of vegetables and fruits to encourage your little ones to experiment by tasting new things. Just knowing they played a hand in growing the goodies on their plate really does make a difference at dinner time. Not to mention instilling great eating habits early on and encouraging a healthier lifestyle as they grow.
From there, you make it a part of your daily routine together. Watering and weeding is something that happens often during the summer and a great project to do along with your little ones.
Having a Little Fun as You Wait
While you can certainly allow the plants to do their thing throughout the growing season, it might be better to have regular small harvests and make a celebration around it. You can have a “garden party”, put on some fun music, create a themed snack even decorate. By adding a bit of fun to each stage of growth, you will help your child to see why it’s so important to grow their own food. This can be done in a way that is not only educational but fun as well.
Of course, you’ll ultimately do much of the work yourself; but the more you can include your preschooler in the entire process the better it will be for them and you as well. A bond that centers around your love of gardening is something you both can enjoy for years to come.
Fun And Learning In The Natural World
Remember that young ones tend to have a very short attention span, and they need to be hands-on as much as possible. And it’s true with hands-on comes messiness, but nothing a quick rinse with an outside hose can’t fix.
You can use child-sized gardening gloves . These gloves by Digz, are just my favorites gloves and they come in just about every size making it easy to find a pair that fits your child or grandchild perfectly!
You can even find a child’s sized gardening apron to help keep things a bit neater and still plenty of fun.
Add that to a new supply of kid-friendly gardening tools and you will help them to get even more excited. There is just something about a gardening outfit and supply of tools that really get the young ones excited to try something out.
Nutrition and Education: Together
Make a list of things you know that grow well in your area along with when to start those seeds both indoors and then again plant them into the ground. Add to that a list of fruits and vegetables you know your preschooler will love to grow and then eat. By creating a simple garden plan, you can share with your preschooler and create a love and a bond over growing food in the ground.
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to have snack-time using vegetables from your own garden that your entire family can enjoy.
There truly is nothing better than fresh delicious food picked straight from a garden. With these tips, you can start your own preschool gardening project with your child or grandchild today.