Young Children in the Garden
By Dr. Jeanette M. Endres, Master Gardener Trainee
Do you have a preschooler who loves outdoor activities? Consider a children’s garden. The 4 to 6 year old likes to dig in the dirt, pick flowers, fruits, vegetables and look for insects in the garden. The child is gaining independence with “hands on” learning, problem solving and language development. Reading, writing and math skills are beginning. This garden is not a show place but a fun working garden that enhances the preschoolers’ skills. When developing a garden for the preschooler, consider seed and plant selection, location, child-sized tools, and maintenance.
During cold weather, consider the seeds/plants the child likes using catalogs or trips to the greenhouses. Head to the refrigerator or pantry to determine what the preschooler likes to eat. Choose larger seeds, (1/4”) for little hands. Do not choose too many seeds or plants for the space and add a flower or two e.g. marigolds and sunflowers. Seeds that work and are large enough for little hands include beans, corn, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes. Plants can start out in the children’s garden and spread to your garden. You can tie the plants to animals e.g. Tiger Lilies or Lamb’s Ear or children’s stories e.g. Jack and the Beanstalk.
For More, Please Read the March 11 Edition Of The Nashville News.