Spring is almost here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about a spring garden. After all, everybody enjoys some home-grown vegetables, and wasting perfectly good rain and sunshine would be an absolute shame.
Besides being a wonderful source of healthy foods, gardens can actually be a wonderful educational opportunity as well. With a small plot of land and a few tiny seeds, you can introduce your little one to a variety of educational topics. From math to science, there are all sorts of interesting learning opportunities just waiting to be discovered in your backyard. So what are you waiting for? Go outside and check them out!
Here are a few ways you can incorporate gardening into your child’s education.
— Math —
Gardening is a great way to give your child real-world practice with math. From counting to measuring, there is quite a lot to be learned on the subject, and much of it can be learned and practiced in the comfort of your own backyard.
The littlest gardeners can help by counting out seeds. As your child grows, give them simple math facts to do while using the seeds as manipulatives. For instance, you might have a child figure out how many total seeds they will need if they dig four holes and want to place three seeds in each. Any variations on this will provide the child amazing opportunities to work with numbers.
Charting and Measuring
By putting a kid in charge of keeping track of the growth of your plants, you give them a chance to learn and practice both measuring and charting. Show them how to use a ruler or measuring tape to get an accurate measurement, and teach them how to record their measurement on a chart or graph.
— Science —
Science is all around us, and the garden is certainly no exception. Take your child out into the garden and go exploring to see what you can learn about the science of the world around you.
Gardens are filled with all sorts of insects. Why not spend an afternoon checking out all the tiny creatures who have made themselves at home in your garden? Go to the library, check out books on insects, and learn about the role each little bug plays in the ecosystem of your garden.
Another great thing to explore while raising a garden is the concept of photosynthesis. Find videos or books that explain the topic and discuss how it applies to the fruits and vegetables growing in your yard.
— Reading and Writing —
Reading and writing are two skills that children must practice in order to fully grasp them. Luckily, kids are almost always pretty happy to do so. Why not take advantage of this fact while working in the garden and put your little readers and tiny writers to work?
Emerging readers will get a kick out of helping you read the labels on the seed packets. Older children who have had more practice with reading may even want to try their hand at reading any Latin names printed on the packages.
In order to properly care for your plants, you will need to remember where you planted each type of fruit, vegetable, herb, or flower. This is best done through the use of plant markers. Have your young gardener do this just using some simple labels and a set of markers.
As you can see, there are many ways to help your child further understand the world around them while working in a garden. If the fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t enough to get you out into the sunshine and working in the dirt, maybe this new bit of knowledge will be.