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Planting seeds is a great introduction to nature and can help educate and inspire our children to sustainable lifestyles
Planting seeds is a favourite kids gardening activity. After planting, children learn the importance of taking care of their seedlings while observing their growth and learning about lifecycles and ecosystems. Even very young children love to be part of the process, they are fascinated how the seeds are tucked into the soil and they take great care by watering them daily, waiting for them to grow.
When the first sign of green pops through the soil, the biggest smiles arise.
What you will need
- small biodegradable pots
- craft sticks
- trowels or something to scoop soil
- spray bottle filled with water
What to do
- Label each plant pot with the children’s names with a permanent marker
- Open the seed packets
- If you have different seeds, have the children compare them and learn their names
- Have the children scoop the soil into their peat pot until it’s almost to the top
- plant a few seeds in each container, in case one or two don’t make it
- place the seeds in the palm of the children’s hands
- they use the fingers from the other hand to pinch the seeds and place them in the soil
- then gently push some soil on top of the seeds
- explain how the seeds need water to grow
- use the spray bottle so they can mist the soil, like gentle rain
- write the name of the plant on a craft stick
- have the children stick these in the soil of their pots
- take them to a window sill or other suitable place
- wait and watch!
With older children, or as a next stage, you can perhaps allocate an area of your garden for them to use, or set aside a few full size pots or planters. You can go on to encourage them to learn about different flowers, fruits and vegetables to grow.
A great starting seed is the sunflower – it grows easily inside or outside and in the summer months will be higher than your child!
Why is all this important?
There are many benefits of gardening with your children, but the most important is that we need to ensure they have a good understanding of how our planet provides for us. We live in a “convenience” world and unfortunately food and other resources are all to easily taken for granted – especially in the western world. Educating our children by encouraging them to grow their own plants is a great start to their learning.
- children develop a connection with the earth and ecosystems
- they develop patience as they wait for the seeds to grow
- they learn about responsibility as they take care of the plants
- they learn about the growth process and lifecycles
- it’s a fun family or school activity
- children can be inspired to learn more about the science involved
- it can link in to developing other interests … science, photography, reading, being outdoors, broader ecology
- it can contribute to physical health and mental wellbeing
Please encourage your children to take a few easy-to-grow seeds and plant them this spring. Encourage them to learn and perhaps move this up to gardening together, it’s a great introduction to nature and our natural environment.