It’s Gardening Week at Eden Prairie Montessori!
Gardening is the perfect way for children to connect with nature and learn to nurture living things. It instills love and respect for the earth and provides us with the opportunity to experience one of the many miracles of nature: sprouting life from a seed and watching it grow.
Gardening helps children learn responsibility as they water and care for the plants, patience as they wait for their vegetables and flowers to grow, and even loss when the flowers expire at the end of the season a plant bares no more fruit. Gardening helps to develop a child’s senses as they experience the life cycle of plants, and what child doesn’t love to dig in the dirt and get messy?
Perhaps the most valuable lesson to be learned in gardening is that children develop an understanding of where food comes from, and kids who garden are more likely to eat the vegetables and fruit they’ve helped grow!
Here are some wonderful tips for gardening with children, Montessori style:
Provide your child with real gardening tools.
Cheap plastic child’s gardening tools tend to break easily and frustrate the child. Having the proper size tools makes planting and maintaining a garden easy and enjoyable for children, and helps them to feel that their work in the garden is just as important as yours.
Here are a few good options:
Manine Montessori: https://manine-montessori.com/collections/garden
Carrots are Orange: https://carrotsareorange.com/gardening-tools-for-kids/
Montessori Services: https://www.montessoriservices.com/practical-life/yard-garden/yard-garden-tools
Start from seeds.
While it may be tempting to buy starters, children will gain much more knowledge and understanding by seeing the growing process as it begins with seeds. Sprouting seeds, nurturing and caring for the young seedling are a very valuable part of the gardening experience. This will help your child gain a better understanding of a plant’s life cycle and feel a greater sense of accomplishment once they harvest their crop.
Give the child their own plants or section of the garden.
Whether you use containers, pots, or garden beds, be sure to give each child their own separate space. Keep it very small and manageable for young kids. Put their plots right in the middle of the action, with the best soil and light. This will keep them interested and engaged. Set them up for success.
Consider a container garden for small spaces.
Container gardens fit nicely onto porches and decks. This is a nice way to keep things simple if you’re new to gardening, living in a small space or know you will be short on time. Finding the space for even a few pots can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your children.
Explore your senses.
Feel and discuss the texture of the leaves, flowers, fruit, vegetables, and the earth. Discover the different scents- do they smell sweet, earthy, floral, fresh? Taste- Strawberries, Chives, Rosemary and Cherry tomatoes are just a few of many healthy and tasty treats, simple to grow for children to enjoy. This will help your child gain new feelings and insight on nature that they may not have felt or known before.
Teach reliability and responsibility.
Encourage your child to put love in what they grow. Show them how to care for and maintain their garden: watering and pulling weeds need to be done on a regular basis. The child will see that nothing is more rewarding than the fruits of our own labour.
Make a scarecrow.
The best time to engage children in gardening is when they’re in the mood for this activity. If the child’s attention wanes or they become bored with gardening, making a scarecrow can help regain their interest in protecting their crops!
Plant an indoor herb garden.
If you want to teach your kids about growing plants, herbs are a great place to start. Growing herbs is a wonderful way for children to learn about gardening. Most herbs are easy to grow and take little care to flourish. Herbs make terrific first plants for a child, and all you need is a sunny window sill!
Gardening allows us to spend time outdoors, breathing in fresh air, taking in the sunshine, and nurturing our own connection with the earth. Studies have shown that children who garden are happier and more confident in their abilities. Plant a garden and watch your child thrive!
Self-Paced Summer Learning Exploration at Eden Prairie Montessori…
Our staff believe that summer preschool in Eden Prairie is not just about fun and learning, but about how children explore and develop new skills. Our summer program supports the Montessori method of learning, meaning your preschooler will enjoy structured, multi-sensory materials for exploratory learning and development.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Tour and Learn More About Our Summer Child Care Program in Eden Prairie
For over 20 years, our attentive staff has been creating fun, student-centered summer daycare learning experiences for Eden Prairie.
To learn more about our summer program, book a tour by contacting a member of our staff at 952-944-8466. We look forward to showing you a better type of summer camp.