Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Gardening with Toddlers

With spring just around the corner I've been thinking about the garden and what needs doing to it, it's the perfect time to get it looking beautiful in time for those summer BBQ's. No I'm no green fingered Charlie Dimmock! Total opposite really, I somehow managed to kill off a bush last year which I'm pretty sure didn't even need watering or much looking after.

I started to introduce the concept of gardening to the toddler last year, we didn't do much other then water the plants together. He got his own toddler size watering can whilst mummy had her bigger watering can. We grew some cucumbers together but he found eating them much more fun then growing them, I guess it was the waiting around which left him frustrated but it did help to teach him some patience.

This year we're already prepared with our gardening supplies, now that the toddler is another year older he's going to have a much better understanding of gardening and be able to be more hands on then have to sit and watch mummy take control. We've already got our first little garden projects planned with planting various seeds into empty drink cartons, we will fill them up with a little soil and then pop in the seeds. We've had much fun drinking our smoothies to create empty cartons for our seeds. Once they start to appear through the soil, we will then move them into bigger plant pots.

We're doing a similar thing with cress seeds and boiled eggs, once we've finished our eggs we've been putting the empty egg shells aside and using our art time to decorate them. We've even decorated the empty egg box ready to be used to stand the egg shells in. The idea is to place some cotton wool into the empty egg sells and then sprinkle the cress seeds on top of the cotton wool. Great idea if you dont have a garden and they can simply be stored on a window sill.

We also plan on planting a sunflower each and setting a challenge to see which member of the family will grow the tallest sunflower. With a new baby due in April, we're also planting one for him which has the toddler all excited. He's going to be looking after the sunflower as he knows his brother's not here yet to do so himself.

When it comes to decorating the garden in pretty flowers and buying that soil, we're heading over to our nearest gardening centre which the toddler usually finds quite fun, guess it's the various plants and colours that gets his attention. Guess this time around, he can help to choose some plants out himself.

Would love to know about your own experience of gardening with the little ones? How have you helped to encourage their little green fingers?