3 June 2021
One way to encourage outdoor exploration is to help your little ones plant seeds or bulbs. Get a spoon or spade and make a little hole in the dirt, all the while encouraging creative and strategic thinking about where to place the seed or bulb.
Then cover the seed/bulb with soil. For the littlies, this is like burying treasure!
Finally -for now at least- water the soil. They will need to water their seeds/bulbs regularly until the plants emerge. Apart from being water play, regular watering also teaches children about nurturing.
Children get so much joy from getting seeds or bulbs to sprout, watching their plants grow and eventually picking the flowers. The blooms can be picked and arranged in a vase, become a gift, or can even be dried and used to make a birthday card or picture.
This learning experience teaches children about nurturing, life cycles, persistence, success and reward.
What to plant right now? Hop on over to your closest garden store and pick out some bulbs. Blubs, which mostly flower in late winter or spring, are a great idea; they are big enough for little hands to hold and don’t need very much water in winter. Most bulbs produce gorgeous flowers and will come up again and again. In fact, not only will they come up every year, they also multiply, what’s not to love?
While you are at the garden centre, pick up a small spade and a small watering can. For those of us on a budget or concerned about buying things we don’t actually need, use a spoon and an empty milk bottle. You can poke a few holes in the lid so that it works just as well as a watering can. This will also teach your children how to improvise and how to use what they already have.
“Poipoia te kakano kia puawai”
Nurture the seed and it will blossom.