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Introducing Children to the Joy of Gardening.

by Betty Bose

Editor, FreeKidsCrafts.com

Spring brings out the flowers, bees and birds. It is a time of discovery. I love the first Crocus that pop out while there is still snow on the ground and then one after the other all the wonderful bulbs burst out in a profusion of color that just can’t help but lift your spirits.

It’s a great time to introduce children to gardening. If waiting for Mother Nature’s timetable is making them anxious. you can jumpstart the process with a Seedling Pot or an Indoor Greenhouse. Just remember that if you start too early, you will have to be prepared to move these seedlings to larger containers until the ground is ready for planting in your area. You’ll find kids really love playing in the dirt. I find it can be very theraputic. My motto is: “Dirt is a Degree of Happiness in Children”.

Another fun project is to Grow a Grass Head Monster. It may not be edible in the long run, but it does show children how things grow with water, sunshine and a little TLC. There is nothing quite as satisfying as planting a seed and watching something materialize from your efforts.

I remember the look of amazement on the faces of a Kindergarten class when they realized food they were used to seeing in the grocery store didn’t originate there, but rather in a garden. We illustrated the Letter U with underground vegetables. We “planted” some full grown beets, onions, and carrots with the tops still on in a bucket of potting soil and let them “harvest” them by pulling them out of the soil.

Having been raised on a farm, these revelations are old news to me, but many of today’s children have never been exposed to where food really comes from. Whenever you have an opportunity to take your children to a farm, no matter what size, take the time to let them revel in the experience.

What do you think?