Thursday, March 10, 2011
And a Little Green in Your Garden
Spring is almost here, can you believe it? I feel like Christmas just whizzed by and yet March 20 and the Spring Equinox is just around the corner. I’m delighted in the sprinkling of warm days we’ve been experiencing, and the boys are loving spending lots of time outside. Last weekend, we stopped at a home improvement center and as we walked through the garden section, I spotted pots of blueberries. I’ve always wanted to grow them, so we brought two young plants home with us and B and T helped me plant them on Tuesday. Hoping we can keep them protected if we have any more cold-snaps roll through. We also picked out some seeds to start indoors. B wants to grow pumpkins this year, and I want to grow zucchini. He also wants to grow sunflowers again, as he very much enjoyed tending them last summer.
(Photo courtesy Bad Alley on flickr.)
Sowing the Seeds of Responsibility
Since we haven’t yet committed to adopting a family pet, tending the garden is B’s greatest endeavor in being responsible for another living thing. Doug Cushman does a great job of balancing the cycle of responsibility and reward in Mouse and Mole and the Year-Round Garden. Each page is peppered with factual tidbits about plants, animals, seasons, and weather, so there is no shortage of learning to be had. Mole is the knowledgeable and responsible character, and he teaches a willing and eager Mouse what must be done in the garden each season. Together, they not only complete the garden chores but enjoy seasonal activities as they pass the time waiting for their harvest. Gardening, whether it is a plot in your yard, a planter on the patio, or a pot on the windowsill, is an excellent opportunity for developing the cognitive skills of cause and effect and understanding natural processes as well as emotional skills of nurturing and responsibility.
If you’re itching to get a start on your garden like us, you may want to start some seedlings indoors so your plants will be closer to harvest when you plant them outside after the danger of frost has passed. Or, perhaps you’ll keep your garden indoors to enjoy. Either way, the March issue of Family Fun Magazine featured two projects you and your little gardeners will “dig.” First, a window planter just for seedlings (or tiny plants) that uses a trading card protective sleeve makes the sprouting process literally transparent and takes up next to no space. Second, a counter-top garden assembled from re-purposed water bottles is intriguing and low-maintenance, as it waters itself! One note about the projects: at the time I looked them up on the website, the instructions for the water bottle planters were included with the description and photo of the window planter and vice versa. Hopefully, the editors will make the switch, but you may want to visit both links to get the complete picture of each project.
(photos from familyfun.com)
Appropriate for: preschoolers, primary grades.
Anybody grown blueberries before? Words of wisdom for my garden? Suggestions for seeds to start now? I’d love to hear them!
I’ll be posting a special book and craft activity on Saturday to be featured at Helping Little Hands. Hope you’ll check it out!