This summer, we partnered with Changing Hands Bookstore for a fun, free series all about children's gardening. Together we learned why bees are good and where butterflies come from. If you weren't able to make it this summer, not to worry - we are here to help your family begin a new gardening journey this Fall!
There are so many ways to teach your children about gardening, while promoting responsibility and creativity. One way is through a garden bed, just for your kiddo! Raised garden beds are low-maintenance and can be built with any height in mind. These beds are great for fast-growing varieties such as Snap Peas, Sunflowers, Radishes, and Cherry Tomatoes. The best part? Your kids can paint the sides of the wooden beds to make it their very own! Another fun, and popular, option for kids are our air plants. Air plants are perfect bedside plants that don't create a mess, and only need to take a "bath" once a week for about 10 minutes. We tend to ask kids what they're "naming" their air plant because naming plants can help remind them to take care of their new plant friend!
"But why should my kids garden?" Why not! A study by Michigan State University links gardening to increased development in children. By helping around the garden, your child is practicing locomotor skills, fine motor skills, balance, and so much more - simply by carrying tools, soil, and water! The fresh air and sensory stimulation in a garden is also a great way to teach colors, shapes, and sizes. Kids are also more willing to eat fruits and veggies if they helped grow it! For older kids, it can be fun to create a map of where you planted seeds. By asking open-ended questions about what your kids think they should do in their garden, you are helping their cognitive development as well. Not only is gardening a great learning tool, but it's a great way to create bonds and memories for your family.
Learning about plants doesn't have to start and end in the garden, there are number of great books you can read at bedtime as well. Stop by Changing Hands to find the perfect gardening book for your family to read together. Here are a few of our favorites!
- A Butterfly is Kind by Dianna Aston
- Garden to Table by Katherine Hengel
- Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Brown
- Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton
- Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
- Lola Plants A Garden by Anna McQuinn
Our final class - "How Food Comes From Dirt" - will be held this weekend, August 19th, from 10AM to 11AM at Dig It. Hope to see you there!