Toddler Lessons…Making the Most of Their “Spongy Period”: Gardening

You may remember the post from April in which I introduced my son to gardening. I laid out an old shower curtain on the floor of our basement with all of our gardening things and demonstrated how to carefully scoop some soil out of the bag and dump it into each pot. Together, we planted the seeds, covered them with soil and watered them. 

During the process, I explained to my son that plants need soil, nutrients, water and sunshine to grow. We placed the pots by a window and I told my son I would need his help to water the plants each day to help them grow and give us food to eat.

As the months have passed and our plants have been transplanted into a garden, my son still helps me pick vegetables to use for our meals, helps me run out before a storm comes to protect them and assists with daily care such as watering and weeding around the yard. He’s learning responsibility and teamwork. He is literally tasting the fruits of his labour.

There is so much to do with gardening whether you have a large property with lots of outside plants or a few pots of herbs in your home, you can always teach your child about gardening and how things grow.

During the summer months you can get cheap, child sized watering cans that you can fill up for your child to help you water plants or even convert a small plastic milk jug into a watering can by poking holes through the lid. With close supervision, your child can help you water inside plants and herbs or you can allow them more independence for outside plants where it doesn’t matter if they spill some water on the ground. If your plants are important to you, make sure you are always close as I have left my son to watering our plants on the deck and have come back to him driving tractors through my pots!!!!

  

  Here are some activities you can do to Teach your Toddler About Gardening:

  • Plant some seeds.
  • Weed your Garden or Yard.
  • Water Plants.
  • Go for a walk and pick some Wild Flowers to put in a vase.
  • Place a celery or romaine lettuce stem is some water and watch it grow.
  • Paint some rocks to put it pots or a garden (note: you will have to choose between washable paint/markers that won’t withstand rain or permanent that won’t wash off your child easy!)
  • Plant Grass in a cup with a smiley face and your toddler can help you give it a hair cut!
  • Buy a Chia Plant.
  • Print off some pictures of flowers or a garden for your child to colour.
  • Go for a walk and find flowers, smell them, explain how somebody planted seeds and the sun and rain helps them grow.

There are so many activities you can do with your young child to introduce them to the concept of gardening, have fun and teach your child how to make things grow and respect our earth!

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