Gardening is a wonderful way to introduce children to life science. Dig in!
Children are fascinated by things that grow, such as flowers, vegetables and trees. Gardening is a wonderful way to introduce children to life science. Begin by planning a garden with your child. Browse through gardening books or visit a local botanical garden or nursery to expose your child to different types of flowers, plants, vegetables and fruits.
Your garden does not need to look like Versailles. A certain amount of disorder is natural when gardening with children. The garden does not have to be big either. If you don’t have a yard, consider container gardening. As Beth Richardson relates in Gardening With Children, the object is a garden that satisfies both adults and children. A kindergartener will love digging in the dirt, while parents will love the fresh basil for pesto sauce.
What would your kids like to grow? Flowers? Vegetables? Bulbs? Seeds? It's an eye opener for children to discover that not all food comes from the supermarket. Peas and potatoes are easy to grow, as are marigolds in a small cup or seedlings in an egg carton. Can you dig it?
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small (Square Fish, 2007)
Gardening with Children by Beth Richardson (Taunton Press, 1998)
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening with Together with Children by Sarah Lovejoy (Workman Publishing Company, 1999)