The Garden Classroom (Roost Books, 2015) by Cathy James is packed with garden-based activities that promote science, math, reading, writing, imaginative play, and arts and crafts. Every garden offers children a rich, sensory playground, full of interesting things to discover and learn about. This project will help you set up a potting station for your favorite children. To get all the benefits gardening offers, it’s good to let children be as hands-on as possible. Of course, some seeds are precious, and new plants are delicate, and that’s not always the best combination with a young child who wants to plant and pick and poke. A solution for keeping everyone happy is to set up a potting-shed play area where the kids can role-play being gardeners over and over again to their hearts’ content — giving the real plants in the garden a chance to get established while the children are playing elsewhere.
Never miss an opportunity to add reading, writing, and math. Provide some real seed packets and pages from garden catalogs to browse through, covering them with contact paper or sticky-back plastic or laminating them if you want to help them last longer outdoors. Keep a supply of plant labels and pencils so the children can write notes about what they’ve planted. Clipboards with paper or a chalkboard are good ways to provide writing surfaces outside, and the children can chart what they’ve planted or even set up a nursery and sell their wares.
Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!LEARN MORE
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