Tot School: Garden
After the winter holiday season has passed, & January passes it's time as slow as frozen molasses, I start to daydream, sketch & make lists of all the life we'll bring into our garden. This year we've expanded by building another 8 x 8 raised garden bed, & also a 6 x 2 pollinator bed. I'm so excited watching our (very slow) progress towards a larger garden. Unfortunately, it's done nothing but rain the majority of the last two weeks so the yard hasn't had time to dry out in order for us to finish weeding & transplanting sprouts. I pay it no mind though; as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
This week's theme of gardening is going to be a lesson that goes on all summer as Reagan sees for himself that a little hard work & care can produce bountiful & delicious outcomes. But to start off an introduction to gardening we checked out a bunch of lovely books from the library.
- We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines. This highly anticipated children's book by the world's most popular interior designer is really as lovely as you would expect. The beautiful illustrations give way to a charming story about her family's gardening journey, starting with a house fern. There are plenty of mishaps that happen, but that's the ultimate lesson in gardening!
- My Garden by Kevin Henkes. An imaginative little girl dreams up her future garden full of color changing flowers & seashell plants.
- In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr. Simple & beautiful poetry about a boy & the magic that happens when you garden.
- Garden Animals by Lucy Cousins.
- Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis. Beautifully illustrated, a group of different bugs are curious when a new sprout unfurls from the ground. Written in a playful made-up language, you don't need to understand what they're saying in order to capture the whimsy & mood of this story.
- The Secret Garden; A BabyLit Storybook by Mandy Archer. The classic novel comes alive in a way toddlers & preschoolers can understand & appreciate.
I'm a sucker for spring blooms
This week also marked our first week of participating in a "Sprouts" class at our local arboretum. Each week the kids (ages 3-5) learn a nature themed subject with a book, craft, & walk around the gardens to discover what new plants are sprouting & blooming. If you have either a nature center or arboretum nearby, I suggest looking up what kinds of educational programs they have!
For a craft, we printed off some lovely little garden-themed writing tools from Carrots Are Orange (pictured in cover photo). Even though these are technically for learning to cut with scissors, I found they worked great for helping Reagan trace lines. Reagan has had a bit of practice with tracing letters, so I used flower math to work on tracing our numbers & working on our counting.
Oh, & that lovely pollinator bed I mentioned before? Reagan got to "help" daddy build it. I'll be so happy to show him how to transplant our mix of salvia, snapdragon, milkweed, & poppies into their new home!
Do you garden with your kids? What are you most looking forward to planting this year? Let me know in the comment section & follow us on Pinterest to see more fun learning ideas!