My 4 year old is in reception and this half term their topic has been ‘In The Garden.’ Until now, he mainly considered the garden as a place to run around and play which is of course really good for children! But there is also a wealth of opportunities for learning and getting kids interested in the garden.
Yesterday he came home from school with a bean stalk which he had planted in school, and he wanted to transfer it to our garden. He was telling me all about what the bean stalk needs to grow taller – sunlight and water.
- Growing Sunflowers
- Growing vegetables – in the past we have grown some pepper and tomatoes in pots in the garden
- You could even get an allotment or consider helping out in a community allotment if you notice your child has a real interest in it!
- If you don’t have much garden space, the easiest one is to start with growing cress seeds in a pot on your window sill
You can look here to learn more about growing seeds with children
There is so much to talk about with them about the different flowers or vegetables which grow – the different colours, shapes, sizes, or tastes of fruit and vegetables that are grown. If you grow vegetables perhaps it will help get them enthusiastic to eat them up too! This is something I would love to do more of with the kids, its lovely to see how proud they are when they make something.
Plants are not the only area to explore in the garden – what about all the wildlife, birds and mini beasts! Even in cities or towns, there will be plenty of life to discover in the garden. My boys are a little bit squeamish about worms, slugs or snails (I think they have got that from me – sorry boys! I should have kept my discomfort to myself and let them experience these things to learn! ) but they are comfortable enough with ladybirds, butterflies or the local cats which some times come into the garden, and very keen on birds.
There are things you could do to encourage more wild life into your garden, so that you can observe them with the children. I remember growing up we had large lavender bushes in the gardens which really attracted so many butterflies, and lavender is great too with its strong smell and colour all adding to the sensory experience for the children in the garden! To attract birds you could think of getting a bird bath and putting out bird food. For some expert advice on encouraging birds, have a look here.
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