Working in a garden helps connect children with nature and the cycle of the year, teaches children where our food comes from, and awakens wonder and awe at watching a plant grow from seed to flower or fruit.
Children as young as three-years old can begin helping in the garden. They can help rake and hoe, and with a parent’s help, plant seeds in a small patch, tend the plants and watch them grow.
In Waldorf education, gardening is usually practiced with children and their teachers in kindergarten through second grade. Teachers know that gardening with children provides early science lessons, but more importantly, working in a garden cultivates a connection to nature, which will lead today’s children to become caretakers of the earth later in life.
Later, gardening is an important element of the third grade curriculum in a Waldorf school when children study housebuilding, farming and gardening.
The marvelous books Sunflower Houses and Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy are filled with inspiring ideas for gardening with children including planting a “sunflower house” or “beanpole teepee” – gardening projects in which children can hideaway during enchanted summer days! Sharon’s books will help you and your child plan and grow a garden even if you are a complete notice.
And gardening is not limited to families who live in the country or in the suburbs. If you live in the city and don’t have a backyard, here are some urban gardening ideas for parens and children:
- Plant flowers around the base of trees on your sidewalk
- Plant window boxes
- Plant and tend a planter outside your front door on a porch or stoop
- Grow an herb garden in your kitchen (Harvest mint for tea and herbs for soup.)
- Plant in raised beds on a roof
Children are naturally drawn to growing things from seeds. I still remember as a child planting carrot seeds in a little patch of dry dirt outside our apartment building in urban Los Angeles, and the wonder and awe of seeing the green sprouts from the seeds I planted and watered! How could I have guessed then that I would grow up to live on a farm in Maine and have large vegetable and flower gardens?
NOTE: This giveaway is now closed.
To celebrate spring to encourage families to plant a garden this year, Bella Luna Toys is pleased to have partnered with our friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, producers of high quality, non-GMO and organic seeds here in Maine, for a fantastic Kids Gardening Giveaway!
Win a shiny red bucket filled with kids gardening tools from Bella Luna Toys, six packets of easy-to-grow fruit, vegetable and flower seeds from Johnny’s Seeds and books to help you get started.
Entries must be received by midnight EDT, Monday, May 14, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday, May 15. Good luck!
Congratulations to Glenda B. from Somerset, Kentucky who was our lucky winner! Thank you to all who entered.
Well may your gardens grow!
Do you have a garden? Are you inspired to start one this year? Have an idea to share on gardening with children? Leave your comments here!