Gardens, as dynamic ecosystems, offer countless opportunities for curious young observers to ask questions and pursue fruitful investigations. If we jump at short-term solutions to "problems" that arise, for example, by exterminating pests, children can lose the opportunity to develop, through careful observation and experimentation, a deeper understanding of the complex interactions among plants, insects, weather, soil conditions, and human horticultural practices.
It's mid-winter and the kids are clamoring for things to do. Outdoor play is great, but here's a fun indoor planting activity to offer when the weather is lousy. With little effort and a pinch of creativity you can devise some very imaginative indoor gardens! One of my favorites is the garbage-can garden.
Secret hideaways, garden playrooms, and special structures are enticements for involving kids in the garden, and they can transform the garden into a fantasyland and refuge. All of these projects can involve and reward the whole family and make your garden the most kid-friendly place on the block.
When my daughter was young, one of our favorite garden activities was to dig potatoes. Even now, at 18 years old, she's happy to help harvest the spuds. There's something timeless about digging for buried treasure that every kid enjoys, regardless of age. And potato harvesting is a treasure hunt! You know there are spuds hidden in the soil, but it's always a surprise to unearth their varied shapes, sizes, and colors, and see the amount of your harvest.
sensitive plantIn an age of iPods, video games, and all-too-realistic CGI movies, it may seem like a stretch to get kids excited about a simple green plant. But kids are intuitively fascinated by nature. There's a simple pleasure kids find in digging, discovering insects and worms, smelling flowers, and tasting vegetables. The challenge is to get them into the garden in the first place.
rainbarrelEarth Day is in April which also happens to be National Garden Month®, making this a great time to jump into the garden with kids. Many garden activities are fun and help kids better appreciate ecological concepts and environmental responsibility.
Question: Is natural light enough for houseplants? My son has volunteered to take his classroom plants home during spring vacation. The window in our kitchen faces southwest. Is this enough light for a young jade plant, an aloe, and an older geranium?