March Gardening Tasks for Preschoolers
Spring has sprung and we can hear the birds reminding us that it's time for us to get busy too. From our playground, we can see our lovely school garden. Unfortunately, we see that it is covered in shiny white snow and there is a mini-mountain blocking the gate. Snow in March is no surprise to those of us in the colder regions. Luckily, there is much to be done to prepare the garden for the next season of life. We will be dreaming of the tomatoes, raspberries, currants, and mint as we plan what our garden will grow into this year. A dream, a plan, and hopefully before too long action. What child doesn't enjoy finding the longest worm...or weed? Will you be preparing for spring with us? Read on for 3 steps to complete this March.
Tell me and I'll forget. Teach me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll learn. - Benjamin Franklin
3 Fun and Easy Gardening Activities
Step 1: GARDEN DREAMS
Before we can even begin to think about what to do in the garden, we will explore what it means to be a gardener, and what type of garden we hope to have. One of our favorite class books is Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. We read this book throughout the year as we enjoy the colors of the garden, the fruit of our harvest, and even the stage of putting the garden to sleep. Another amazing book that is new to our class this year is We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines (Yes, think Fixer Upper). This is a beautiful work that helps to explain what it really means to be a gardener, both with success and failure. This is a great book to continue to enjoy as your child grows. We will take virtual tours of amazing worldwide gardens this month with the help of youtube, and will be learning about the plants that grow best in our USDA zone 5.
Click on the image to get your copy of these amazing books!
Step 2: GARDEN PLANNING
Once the children are excited about becoming gardeners and planting their own rainbow, it's time to put the dreams onto paper. This begins by walking around our garden area and measuring the area that we have to plant in. We take notes of the plants that we planted last year to ensure that we rotate a new crop in. We will use our tape measure to get the correct size of our garden beds and will create a giant "planning board". On this giant sheet of paper, we draw a map of our garden, and we label where we will put each plant. Noting the sun, water, and spacing on our plan is a step not to be missed. Afer we have made our plan of where and when to plant, we dig into the fun of seed catalogs!
Step 3: ORDERING SEEDS & GATHERING SUPPLIES
One of the most important steps of gardening is to ensure that you have all of the instructions (seeds) to grow an amazing crop. We look through seed catalogs as we find which plants we would like to try in our garden. After finding out what types of seeds we would like to plant, we head over to Native Seeds Search to purchase our seeds. Native Seeds Search is a non profit seed company that helps to support seed packs for some of our neighbors on the Navajo Nation. When our seeds arrive we will be ready to plant. To ensure that there are no more needs we check all of our gardening supplies including spades, rakes, watering cans, starter trays, hoses, and beds. If there are any supplies we need to update or beds that need repaired, we schedule them into our calendar to be finished before our last frost date (May 31st).
More about the Benefits of Gardening
Gardening is good for the soul, this we know, but did you know that there are many other benefits for young children in the garden? Read "Gardening to Enhance Early Childhood and Help Children Grow" on the National Headstart Website for more information on the importance of gardening with our children. Now that you have some tasks to get you started, go sit in the sun and begin to dream about your future garden with your little one.
Check out kidsgardening.org for a quick checklist on starting a garden with your child.
Don't forget to add these books to your future gardeners library.