How Your Child Can Make Early Preparations for Their Spring Garden
Have you pledged to foster your young child’s green thumb for the new year by starting a backyard garden? While we may be in the middle of winter it’s never too early to begin the preparations.
There are some great ways to get your kid excited about your household’s up and coming garden while getting a head start on the project. Below we have provided a list of fun ways to make it happen.
4 Fun Steps Your Child Can Take to Get an Early Start on Your Household’s Backyard Garden
Step 1. Get Familiar With the Concept With Some Great Reading
One way to get your child excited regarding a concept is to expand their minds about it through the magic of reading. There are some excellent books about gardening for kids at your local library and bookstore, but allow us to do the legwork for you by introducing two fantastic options – Plant a Seed & See What Grows and What to Do With What You Grew. Both books are penned by renowned children’s author Roland Gahler and have been an integral part of our Plant a Seed – Read! program which has reached more than 1,000 libraries across Canada.
Step 2. Get Outdoors and Observe
After reading a few pages from their favorite gardening books your child will be ripping and roaring to get outdoors. Sounds like a great idea! Before they start turning soil let them take a few moments to observe the natural world before them. Have them use their eyes and ears for some backyard observations. These observations could be documented by your child to reference, be it through drawings, written poems, or other forms of creative expression. Need some help? We’ve got you covered. Our Foundation has provided an activity guide titled Backyard Garden Observations which you can download in English here and in French here.
Step 3: Visit Local Greenhouses and Community Gardens
After following the first two steps your child’s mind will be brimming with all kinds of knowledge about gardening. Now it’s time for them to see it in action by visiting pubic resources near you.
There may be greenhouses and indoor gardens in your area that are open to public visits. There will even be outdoor community and schools gardens that grows plants which thrive in the winter season that your child can observe. Walk through these natural wonderlands with your child. Let them use your smartphone to take photos of garden plots and plants, which will give them a reference point for the garden that your household is about to plant at home.
Step 4: Get Started!
Your child is now ready to get their hands muddy with some early preparations for the planting season ahead. What can they do?
Build a raised-bed garden box that can be used to start growing plants indoors until the weather is primed, at which point they can be transplanted into the soil outdoors. In addition, clean out the garden shed (as applicable) along with your gardening tools to make sure they are ready when spring comes. Take inventory of the tools you have in case you need to take a trip to your local home and garden center – another great place for your child to learn more about the concept. Also, start collecting those kitchen scraps and launch a household composting system for this coming season. Lastly, source quality seeds from a local seed grower. Want some greater insight into the above? One of our Foundation’s first bursary recipients Jessica Hill has provided a complete guide to preparing your spring garden which you can do together with your child.
Here’s to a Successful (and Fun!) Planting Season to Come