"A child who is the greatest spontaneous nature observer must undoubtedly be allowed to work with the material" - Maria Montessori
Spring is the time when the surrounding nature comes to life. The grass is green, the trees are blooming. This is also the moment when it is worth considering the involvement of the child in establishing your own plant breeding, even if we do not have a garden.
Growing vegetables together is an indescribable opportunity to spend time with the family, as well as to learn through play. Taking care of the garden, a child can observe plant growth phases visually, has a sense of responsibility and agency, and above all, much more willingly reaches for his "own" vegetable during meals. Surprisingly, starting a greengrocer is quite simple and pleasant thing. For this purpose, we can use ordinary pots placed on the balcony or on the window sill. Below we suggest how to start our gardening preparations.
Before presenting the idea to your child, find out what vegetables can be grown in your place of residence. In the age of the Internet, it will be a very simple task. You need to think carefully about where you will put the plants, check the amount of sunlight in the area and the minimum size of the pots required.
Find out how much commitment the selected seedlings will need. It is worth starting the breeding with undemanding vegetables, e.g. radishes, carrots, chives, herbs or lettuce.
Let your toddler decide for himself what plants he wants to grow. To do this, offer him 4 species, from which the child will choose the ones you plant. You can prepare short descriptions and photos of these vegetables to bring them closer to your little gardener.
The next step will be a joint trip to the garden shop. Make a shopping list that includes not only seedlings or seeds, but also the right type of soil, pots, fertilizer, a small watering can, signage plates, gardening gloves and a spatula. It is very important that your child can participate in the selection of all items. This will make them feel more involved in the entire breeding process.
Talk to your toddler about the growth rate of plants and their responsibilities towards them. The child needs to know that you will have to wait for the vegetables to ripen and the seedlings that are not watered will wither.
In order for your toddler to become systematic, encourage him to water and observe the garden together. Do not spare him in the tasks entrusted to him, praise him for his commitment.
When the vegetables are ready to be harvested, think together about what you will use them for. Have your child participate in the preparation of a meal with vegetables from their own farm. This will surely make the dish taste special 🙂
educator - early school education