Spring is officially here, and Summer is right around the corner! One of the best parts of Spring is being able to plant in the garden and watch tiny seeds grow into strong and beautiful plants. Planting in the garden is a simple way to get little ones outside in the sun, and allows them to follow along on their seed’s journey! This week’s Lunch Bite Highlight focuses on planting herbs and spices in the garden. Herbs and spices are a crucial part of adding flavor to any recipe, and are a fun way to get young children in the garden.
Gardening can provide young learners with many different skills and experiences. Here at The Environmental Center, we are enjoying weekly garden clubs with young gardeners from around town. Each week we focus on one or two seeds and plant starts that we want to put in our community garden. So far we have planted peas, leafy greens, potatoes, flowers, and more! One of the most important things that we learned when planting in the garden is knowing what each seed or start needs in order to grow successfully. This can depend on the size of the seed, the depth and distance the seed is planted, the temperature and climate outside, and more. Learning what each individual plant needs can help our young gardeners understand how to take care of the planet. Why does this plant need direct sunlight, when this plant doesn’t? What would happen if we watered too much or too little? This website explains many different benefits to gardening with children including what they can learn from it, to different activities for them to do in their garden.
Not only do we talk about the needs of different plants while in the garden, but we also learn about where food comes from. Growing vegetables and herbs helps bring into perspective where the food we eat comes from. Picking vegetables from your very own garden can bring great satisfaction to you and your young ones as you cook and eat the yummy foods that you grew! This week’s Lunch Bite Highlight’s video feature two young children creating a yummy mixture of herbs and spices to eat with their vegetables. Many of their ingredients are ones that you can grow in your garden.
So, how can we involve our young ones in the garden? There are lots of easy and quick activities to include such as weeding, watering, digging, and picking the foods that are ready to be cooked and eaten! This involvement can increase their love for the environment and healthier food choices. Taking the time to care for a seed requires patience and consistency, two skills that can be learned through gardening. At our Garden Club we are able to watch our seeds grow each week and watch them get bigger and stronger until soon they will produce yummy snacks for us to eat!
For more Lunch Bite Flyers with Activities in both English and Spanish, click here.