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Hands on learning with plants

Spring is the perfect time to start a garden. Having your young child help with planting is a great way to bond and facilitate hands on learning experiences. “Ways to help children learn from gardening” also talks about the benefits of gardening with your child. Gardening uses a number of skills across many domains. Pointing out different parts of the process showcases these skills. For example:

Hands on learning with gardening
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Science- There are many things in gardening that you can focus on from a science aspect. You can talk about what a plant needs to grow: sun, dirt, and water. You can talk about the plants cycle: starts as a seed, then grows roots and stem, then grows into the plant.

Math- There are just as many math skills in gardening. Counting out how many seeds you are going to use. Sorting out different seeds you want to use. Measuring the space you need to plant the seeds.

Vocabulary- Expand your child’s vocabulary by teaching your child what each tool is called and what they are used for. Then teach them the different parts of the plants. The more you use these words the better your child will understand and be able to use them as well.

Literacy- Read is a great way to learn more information. Read books about plants and growing a garden. There are a lot of children’s books that talk about different kinds of gardens. Teaching them from a young age that they can learn from books is a great tool for your child.

Writing/Art- Depending on the abilities of the child they can document how the plants are growing by writing about it or drawing pictures of the plants. Make a notebook with your child to show how your plants grew.

Fine motor- Having your child take part in digging in the dirt and putting the seed in the hole helps them work on their fine motor control.

Sensory- Talk to your child about the colors they see while in the garden. Talk about how the dirt feels. Ask them what they think will happen when you add water to the dirt. Let your child feel the mud. Talk about what they smell. When you are gardening you use almost all your senses. Talk about each sense and how you can use it in the garden.

Whether you plant a couple of seeds in a see through cup inside so you can watch the roots grow as well as the stem. Or make a garden in your yard that you can plant more seeds and bigger plants. Sharing time and information with your child will not only teach them about gardening it also builds a stronger bond between you and your child. Just think of all the things your child can learn just by planting a garden. Enjoy watching you garden and child grow.

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