Well, if you’ve always wanted your own little piece of veggies, now is the time! Designate a small plot of land in your yard or a large pot on your porch. Make sure you have plenty of earth, sun, and a constant supply of water. You can bring a garden hose and a garden box for your little one, as well as small garden tools. Choosing seeds online is always fun and can also be purchased at a local store. Explore different ways that you and your children can develop something good!
If you haven’t sown seeds with your little ones in the spring, don’t be afraid. There are many plants that we can prepare for picking and nibbling even in August! We can grow plants practically all year round, and you can have a garden indoors if you wish. You might want a planter or a box of herbs. Or you dare to venture out into the wild! Well … I mean the back yard.
Plants of the Brassica family can go straight into the ground in August. These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and more. You can even throw in zucchini, various salads, peas, and spring onions! Of course, this all depends on your location. Check out the map on Urban Farmer online (www.usfeeds.com) to be sure. The vegetation depends on your location in the US (and in the world).
Children can enjoy the task of identifying where they live on the map and finding the zone that is best for them to grow. Children may find that this is related to where the sun is strongest during the growing seasons. There is a whole scientific unit in this one concept! There are many educational moments in exploring this topic.
Even so, it is important that you sprout your seeds first. This is such a fun task for parents and kids alike! Sprouting the seeds gives your plants a chance to fight. The process of germinating the seeds is a great lesson as greeting the cute little sprouts in the garden allows strong plants to grow.
- Soak the seeds in a small glass overnight.
- Drain and rinse the seeds the next morning. Pour a small amount of fresh water into the glass again.
- Over the next few days, drain the seeds, rinse them, and watch out for green sprouts!
You can always access YouTube and watch How to Sprout Anything, a video by Tasty. There is also a wealth of useful information about the harvest there. When considering a plan for gardening, we may want to create a schedule with our children. This timeline can include when the sprouts will start, when they will be planted, how long it will take for the plants to bloom, and when they can be harvested. A simple table can be suitable. Children can also record the weather during their harvest season and note the weather using symbols and pictures. You can also view the weather reports every day and make predictions about whether the weather will support the growth of the plants.
This also applies to the cultivation of wild flowers or perhaps groups of herbs. There are plenty of tasty ones to start in your kitchen or on your porch. Consider tasty staples for salads and meals like dill, basil, and oregano. Think of the ones that you enjoy most in your meals and go from there!
What about wild lavender or maybe a refreshing chamomile? There are many plants that have calm and medicinal properties. They are incredibly easy to cultivate. Planting herbs adds another dimension to teaching about herbs and their associated health benefits. Children can make charts, lists, and maybe even research each one to illustrate the wonders of nature and the healing that comes with it.
Don’t you have a green thumb? It’s okay! We can still grow plants that will thrive with minimal care. Think of root vegetables, like carrots and potatoes, which work their magic beneath the surface. Or how about the herb that makes our summer tea so inviting: mint! It’s pretty easy to grow, but its tubular roots can be a little invasive. Beware! It will grow without end! It does smell delicious. If it gets out of hand, at least it will smell nice when the lawnmower crosses the parts crawling out of the garden. It’s so abundant that you can always send your guests home with a full bag as a parting gift, or have the kids bundle some up for the neighbors and community to enjoy.
Even so, you and the children will spend countless hours cultivating plants and bringing back memories. There are many educational moments in the kitchen, in the courtyard, on the veranda and in the garden. Take the time to do a little planning and you won’t go wrong.
Dr. Jeanette Moore is a certified educator in New York, Vermont, Connecticut and South Carolina. She is an established writer and frequently contributes to magazines and lesson compilations, including The old school house® magazine, Spider magazine, Highlights for childrenand the National Fragile X Association Teaching Guide. Jeanette has published math games for Nasco, including the PEMDAS color code. She also writes math and science books for Nomad Press and workbooks for Carson Dellosa Publishing. Jeanette is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She is the mother of little Maya Jillian.
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