Have you ever planted a tree with your child or tried to explain where fruit and vegetables come from. Most children believe it comes from a market, supermarket shelf or delivered to your door.
Is that really where it comes from? Lets look at getting hands on and growing a plant to help them learn where does all their food come from. However planting a tree, watching it grow, watering it everyday teaches lifelong skills to your children. Whether you are in an apartment, house or in the desert there is always a plant to grow from a pot, inside or outside.
Watch as the plants grow from a seed to when it sprouts for the first time. The look on your childs face when they finally see a seed that has sprouted and now they have a plant is price less.
Bringing mathematics into it if you plant 1 or 2 you can even measure your plant, see how much it grows each day/week, develop language such as taller, shorter, colours changing, what fruit, veggies, flowers, etc.
Why does it need water, then relate it back to the human body needing water and food. It indivertibly allows you to teach the first 2 levels of Maslows Hiearchy of needs;
1. Physiological needs
Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first.
Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans.
2. Safety needs
With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. In the absence of physical safety, health and well being,personal security.
Look at the different countries seasons, when it is winter in the US and Europe it is Summer in Australia. When it is rainy season in Singapore it is spring in another country. Plants growly differently at different times of the year to compare colours, flowers, smells.
Children will learn about needs and wants through developing the skills in gardening, looking after a plant, watching it grow and having the excitement of not knowing how much it has grown, has it flowered each morning.
Again this is also allowing sensory play through planting a seed, feeling the texture of the soil, touching the seed, flowers and smelling the plants. Also seeing how fast or slow it grows.
According to a study by National Association for the Education of Young Children a garden is;
There is a movie called the Lorax which shows a world without trees depending if you allow TV/Movies it is a way to allow the children to learn why trees, gardening are so important to our existence. Once you have planted the seeds, watched it grow, maybe watch the movie and talk more about what they saw, how it made them feel, build their language around it.
If you want to look at more research from early years gardening click on the following links;
– Edx education (Global based) Have childrens buckets, spades, rakes, and outdoor play education products. (contact the office for the local distributor)