You can help your child become conscious of nature and how they can help preserve it. When your child is actively participating in their environment you are helping them to see how they are an important and integral part. Their participation makes a difference’. ‘Sit down next to your child and show them how to complete the activity. You can then invite them to do the same. (excerpts from ‘Teaching Parents How To Teach’).
We’re at the time of the year when the seasons are changing to the colder months. This means it’s time to plant the bulbs ready for the spring. Bulbs need to feel the cold of the fall and the winter months (dormancy) to recognize when spring begins and it is time for them to sprout and bloom. This is a perfect activity for your child to experience nature, and to build their fine and gross motor skills along with concentration and independence.
Choose some interesting containers for your child to use for planting the bulbs. They can be ready made window boxes, flowerpots, buckets, and even old boots! Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom to prevent the bulbs becoming water logged.
Being prepared helps the activity to be more successful. Using child sized gardening tools and covering the area where you’re working together helps to protect against soil being spilled. You can use tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. Visit a nursery/store to choose the bulbs. They come in a wide range of colours and types.
Show your child how to scoop the soil into the spade/trowel and then transfer it to the pot.
Fill the bottom of the pot with a layer of rocks to help with drainage.
Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil to about 3 to 4 inches from the top. Now you can show your child how to carefully place the bulbs with the flat side down and the pointy side up.
Cover the bulbs with soil trying not to disturb them too much.
When all of the bulbs have been planted its time to water each of the pots.
Place the planted pot in an area that is protected from the weather, against a wall/fence/hedge.
When you notice the bulbs beginning to shoot in the Spring you can place the container in full sun and give the plants plenty of water.
Modeling the actions in each activity helps your child to observe how to use each of the tools. If your child is left handed use your left hand so they can observe the actions directly related to their experience.
Remember to wash hands thoroughly after the gardening activity is complete. Enjoy!