MONTESSORI-INSPIRED GARDENING WITH INFANTS/TODDLERS

Growing-up, my family always had a large garden. We enjoyed fresh produce while freezing and canning for the winter. As an adult in my apartment, it was tough not having a large garden. So my boyfriend at the time (now husband) created a container garden on my deck. My 1 25 hundredth of an acre (yes, super tiny) “farm” was born and helped fill my desire to garden. Now we have a yard, albeit a smaller yard, but enough of one that we have a few garden boxes for a decent size garden.

The love of gardening was something I knew I wanted to pass on to my children. The joy of planting a small seed, providing the care, watching it grow and then bear fruit or vegetables.

The girls aren’t at an age that they would like to actively help garden. But that might change in a few short months when they will, likely, be walking and working on different skills. So when I was planting seeds, I made sure to start a few for a small garden of their own. While both gardens will produce the foods we enjoy and preserve, the girls garden will the be a ‘yes’ area. While the family garden will be supervised, their garden will be for them to take care of as they deem best.

 

Working in the family garden will help them learn how to properly care for the plants and their garden will provide a more hands-on experience. This participation started with V assisting me in planting the starters. Yes, it can become a little messy, which is great as it means she’s exploring the activity fully. And we just use plain dirt, so I don’t worry about her ingesting something that she shouldn’t, while still watching for choking hazards. Her job is to discover on her own that dirt doesn’t taste good and it’s my job to make sure she’s safe. As of lately, they’ve been assisting me with weeding. While I work on weeding between our plants, they work in a more open area that allows them freedom to pull whatever they wish. V tends to be the most interested, so when she doesn’t require a second nap, and E does, V and I will tend the garden together.

Do you garden with your child?

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