GARDENING WITH TODDLERS: PART I

Last year we first introduced gardening to E and V (post here). While we prepared an area that would be their own garden, separate from the family garden, they didn’t do much in it as they were still rather young–but this year, it’s clear that’s about to change.

Once spring sprung, we began reading about gardening and seeds. One of our favourite books, A Seed Is Sleepy, is, as the title states, about seeds, the illustrations are amazing and so informative! Due to the detail and beauty, we actually own a few of these. The other we enjoy, I Can Grow a Flower, explains more about the growing process, start to finish.

Admittedly, we are beginning our garden a little late–this is due to past fails. Our plants were either devoured by our cat or grew too leggy with not enough sun and it being too chilly outdoors, resulting in us having to start all over. So this year, we played it safe and started a bit later, which seems like we ended up doing anyway so I guess we are actually right on schedule, in our own way, haha.

To keep this an enjoyable experience I had low to no expectations and we worked outdoors (another reason for waiting until it was nicer out).

Gardening has so many opportunities for the toddler to practice their skills:

-Scooping, filling and pouring. E and V are both really into any activity that involves these skills. Scooping the dirt, filling the cups, and pouring dirt from one container to another was something they really enjoyed. Will I thought they may fill one or a few peat pots, but they filled their whole tray!

Poking holes and transferring seeds. I think this was V’s favourite part. Once she understood that each pot needed a little hole poked for the seeds, she went at it! By the time E and I had poked and placed seeds in a single pot, V was finished with her whole tray and ready for seeds. Using those fine motor pinching skills, they would count one seed and place them in the appropriate pot. We took this opportunity to look at each seed and compare them.

 

Watering. They are familiar with watering plants as that is one of their responsibilities. A few times a week they help carry and water the indoor plants. What is different, there’s no plant yet. I think E found this silly as she wasn’t very interested and insisted that she carry and water an indoor plant–I assume this will change once there are sprouts.

There’s so much more to gardening that the girls will enjoy, once our sprouts have sprung and have made it the great outdoors I’ll share part two. While we wait for our tomato, watermelon, green beans, peppers, and squash please share what you and your little one are planting in your garden and why? I love hearing about what produce other families enjoy.

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