I always love gardening in the springtime. It’s especially meaningful this year while we’re “sheltering in place.” Even toddlers can sow seeds and rake them in!
And from the mouth of my six-year-old: “I like gardening because I get to dig holes. I have fun with the hose. I like eating the things I grow, especially my raspberries, strawberries, and cucumbers.”
My kids learn a lot in the garden, too. A few weeks ago they wanted to sprout seeds. It was as easy as adding a cup of potting soil, last year’s pumpkin seeds, and a bit of water to a plastic bag. We sealed it up and taped the bag to a south-facing window. Within a week, there were tiny green leaves sprouting from the seeds.
If you’re scrambling to stretch your parenting skills to include learning opportunities for your stay-at-home kiddos, take a look at Next Step’s Garden Curriculum. I’ve used it a lot to turn digging in the dirt into a hands-on learning experience. It has easy-to-use educational activities, experiments, and gardening tips. There’s a lot of helpful information for first-time gardeners, as well as new insights as you gain experience.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to get the kids involved in the garden. Over the weekend, I was outside pulling weeds and dividing some landscape plants. While I worked, my daughter dug a giant hole in her raised bed–with the help of the hose and a pair of very muddy boots.
I felt good clearing leaves from the raised beds, and I got excited when I found last year’s volunteer lettuce starting to sprout. I took a break to watch the kids plant their pumpkin sprouts in their raised beds with love and pride. All is well.