Playing in the Dirt

Playing in the Dirt

Education doesn’t have to end with the school year,  summer offers great opportunities to continue learning with seasonal projects. This year, try and inspire kids with starting a small garden together.

There are a lot of fun ways to learn together as a family and the kids won’t even suspect that they are learning as they play. No matter where you live, whether your square footage is limited to one window sill or a few square feet of dirt, you can find a variety of projects to suit your home.

Jane Bull has a great book called quite simply, The Gardening Book with great illustrations and kid friendly language to inspire your kids. Starting a windowsill garden of herbs or planting a summer crop of peppers, tomatoes or squash can lead to a great cooperative learning experience that starts in the dirt and continues through to the kitchen.

Never fear, if you are more of the black thumb variety, there are great, simple resources for creating gardens together. This family project will allow for time together digging in the dirt while teaching kids about the life cycle, great food and encourages imagination and creativity as you plan how best to serve your upcoming bounty.

Kids will develop critical thinking skills while you plan what to plant and plot out your harvest schedule. You can also plan ahead for winter by continually harvesting herbs like oregano, basil & mint and drying them in the sun. The possibilities are endless.

Beyond being simple fun, you will find that a sun warmed tomato is a refreshing addition to the dinner table, a sprig of fresh mint in the iced tea is a dream and fresh herbs add so much to any dish.

Just the simple act of watching something grow will empower your kids while teaching them where their food comes from while opening up great opportunities for dialog. As a parent you can gain a great sense of satisfaction through providing delicious nutritious food and will afford relaxing, meaningful time with your kids between trips to the pool and summer activities.

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