Goals For Math Curriculum In The Years Of Early Childhood Veggies For The Fun of It: 10 Tips for a Successful Urban Garden Program for Kids

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Veggies For The Fun of It: 10 Tips for a Successful Urban Garden Program for Kids

My goal in working with gardening programs for children is to open their eyes to a world within the outdoor classroom space that is filled with flowers and try to make the experience an event they will remember for a long time. much time.

When working with an urban gardening program for elementary school-aged children, it is important to understand what will make a successful gardening program for children. First realize that a child’s gardening goals differ from an adult’s. Middle and high school gardening programs differ from those for younger children in the methods and curricula presented. Children’s primary goal in gardening is discovery and experimentation. In other words, they don’t measure success by the quantity or quality of a harvest; it’s the reward in experiencing the process. Children will use all five senses to explore and discover the garden environment. Gardening for kids will not only stimulate their senses, but create a lifelong connection to nature, healthier choices, and caring for our environment. Children are curious about the wonders of nature; they like to learn by doing and will love playing in a garden space designed with them in mind. A child-friendly gardening program should be presented and planned as a fun learning activity surrounded by a world of discovery. Whether you’re working with one child or a dozen, you’ll find these tips helpful in customizing your gardening program.

As mentioned above, children’s interest in gardening is different from that of adults. The aspiration of the adult in the vegetable garden is grouped into three categories, all based on the “green thumb factor” they are; a sustainable source of fresh produce, the economic factor, health and ecological nutrition. These three goals can be incorporated into the curriculum of a balanced children’s gardening program. When presenting gardening curriculum, it works best when presented as “teachable moments.”

  1. Define the goals for forming this club of young gardeners. What do you hope to achieve in this gardening situation? Will it be a place for quiet meditation, teaching science, creating a farmers market, or a place for healthy eating? Knowing this will help guide you in deciding the type of garden setting to create, such as native, heirloom, organic, herbaceous, or display.
  2. Trust the experts. Borrow gardening rules, tips and techniques from the successful community gardening program in your area. The most successful community gardens are supported by a group of people involved. This is the time to gather a group of like-minded teachers and helpers from your circle of influence. Local master gardeners, farm offices, botanic and organic garden organizations, and nurseries can provide guidance and support.
  3. Give children their own space in the garden for the principle of possession. This will give children a sense of “ownership” of a family space and encourage commitment and responsibility for the gardening project. Whether you use raised beds, repurposed containers, or a traditional plot of land, be sure to give kids their own space in the garden and encourage them to get their hands dirty.
  4. Make the garden appealing to the senses, colorful flowers add to the visual; aromatic crops that please the nose as well as products that can be eaten off the vine. Choose a variety of vegetable plants that suit your region and growing season. It would also be great to include a few edible flowers for color and herbs for fragrance. Children will be fascinated by the different shapes and textures. To get off to a good start, plant easy-to-grow vegetables such as cucumbers, cabbage, zucchini, lettuce, beans, peas, summer squash, peppers, and Swiss chard.
  5. Prepare young gardeners for success with the best soil and light conditions available. This is part of the planning strategy. In urban environments it is common to encounter difficulties such as poor soil conditions; polluting, gardening in awkwardly shaped areas surrounded by asphalt or cement. Remember that most vegetable gardens require at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Having easy access to water is also helpful. Don’t be discouraged if your garden has too many obstacles, it may be a sign that you should consider container gardening.
  6. Start the garden from seed. Children will learn more by watching the growth process as it begins. This is an important part of the discovery process; they will observe the root system and make their own observations about plant development and life cycles. The care that goes into germinating seeds and nurturing young seedlings are a valuable part of the gardening experience. Also the seeds will grow into healthier plants if started indoors in a warm room. Once the true leaves have sprouted, they can be transplanted into the garden bed depending on the growing season.
  7. You may have to help “behind the scenes, “cheat a little”. They don’t have to know about all the little problems you’ve fixed. You may have to go out before or after the program session to collect slugs and bugs on vegetables. Patrol regularly for pests, but don’t use pesticides. Children shouldn’t be exposed to toxins. Instead, wash away bugs with water. Change a few plants that were badly damaged to due to poor handling; replace seeds in beds that have not been planted properly. Children feel a sense of ownership of the plot is the main thing. A good result in gardening based solely on the children’s effort is secondary.
  8. Use your allotted time wisely. Have a fixed start and end time for the sessions. Change up the activity to keep kids excited about going to the garden. Garden time for children should be in the cool of the day. Include themed garden activities, games and craft time in your schedule. Keep in mind that children may not be ready for all garden chores at all times. Not all children may enjoy all garden chores. There are some who will not enjoy the process of planting outside in the dirt, even those who may be afraid of insects. Incorporating themed garden activities will give your kids some much needed variety. This will ensure that children look forward to future sessions and positively affect behaviour
  9. Gardening tools and equipment are a necessity. When you provide children with tools, you are recognizing the importance of the work they are doing. Also in the garden tools category, there are many kitchen items that can be reused for gardening. Hard plastic kitchen utensils make excellent garden tools; they can be used as a spade or shovel. We use drinking water bottles to water containers. If necessary, let them use your hand tools under close supervision. The uses of cheap plastic gardening tools are worse than no tools at all; they break easily and will discourage any user.
  10. Involve them throughout the process, from seed to table. The garden is a place for teaching moments with children. Children learn best when they understand the context of their activity. They will learn that gardening is a fun activity, a place to make friends, as well as a place to contribute to the community. Gardening gives children the opportunity to learn an important life skill, which is overlooked in standard school curricula. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring how nature works. Environmental Science Plant life cycles and seed germination are easily taught in the outdoor classroom. So are math, creative writing, reading, social studies, nutrition, observation, and fine arts. In addition to planting and nurturing their gardens, make sure they are an active part of harvesting and preparing their vegetables for the table, no matter how modest the yield of the crop.

A children’s garden will open their minds to a “world-class” learning experience about plants and flowers.

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