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Gardening with Children

At last, the weather seems to have improved enough to plant some vegetables. So all the children left the school books behind on the kitchen table and headed to the garden. I believe gardening with children is highly beneficial to mental health, and physical health. It also teaches them where their food is from. Whilst digging about in the dirt the children explored the minibeasts found, there, and a small lesson ensued about the importance of these tiny creatures in all our lives. For The Knight boy a little woodlouse went from being “yuck” to crawling about his hand. It is also fascinating to watch from one small, wrinkled seed potato you reap a harvest of many. The miracles of multiplication that occurs from seed to harvest is staggering. After an hour of digging and planting, everyone had worked very hard, and was rather tired. A family activity, that will yield food, is free, and has everyones heart pumping! First to be planted were the potatoes. We dug two trenches, and used some of out own compost to line them (this is the first year, out of five that I have decent compost!) The we spaced the seed potatoes out at around 10cm intervals. The potatoes were then covered over. When the potatoes first appear we will cover them a second time with dirt. This helps the potatoes to develop healthily. The children helped where they could. Each had a go of digging, and filling the wheel barrow with compost. The younger ones, enjoyed racking the compost along the trench. Hopefully this year there will be a good harvest! Tips to Start Gardening with Children 1. Start Small! Do not over stretch yourself. Do not aim to be self-sufficient in vegetables within one year. Choose a few simple plants to get going. 2. Try Planters. If you have a small garden, or do not fancy digging a vegetable patch, start with some planters of tubs. You can find small varieties of carrots that grow well in shallow soil, salads work well, as do herbs. 3. Let children help to plan. Ask them what they want to grow. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Weekend Wonders

It looks like Spring has finally arrived. The air is filled with the sound of birds singing, the sun is out, the sky is blue. Time to get out and about! Here are some fun activities to try this weekend! 1. Visit a Local Wood Woods are coming alive again in the Spring. Birds are nest building, and buds are beginning to open. It is a wonderful time to let children run free, climb trees and be immersed in nature. A fantastic site to visit and sign up to is the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives. The Nature Detectives site is full of fun activities, as well as really good educational material to help parents get their kids out and personal with nature. You can sign up to their newsletter with regular updates, and downloadable sheets. I am a big fan of their identification sheets, that help children looks for plants and animal species, at the times of the year they are most likely to see them! 2. Get Out in the Garden Although it is mid-April, we have not planted anything yet. The time is still perfect to sow seed potatoes, or bring some much need colour with some flowers. Here are some ideas: Mum’s Net 3. Some Spring Cleaning?? If you can face it! Homeschooling all week, means the weekend is a naturally good time to catch up with household chores. And if you can face it, you will have that lovely smug feeling afterwards, that you have achieved something with your weekend! Here is a glass cleaner recipe Enjoy your weekend- whatever you find to do!! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Gardening with Children

Spring is sort of thinking of beginning here! But despite the very cold weather, my thoughts are turning to the garden. Every year I have great hopes for growing vegetables. One year we managed a respectable harvest, last year we managed nothing, the year before that I was too pregnant to really care! So this year I have a bit of a plan, to start small! Mr Man is digging over the vegetable patch, and I am going to a local stable to collect some horse poo! Then for the vegetables. We are going to go for: 1. Some potatoes- these are usually quite east to grow, but do steal the nutrients from the soil. 2. Carrots- have failed to grow last few years, due to the potatoes, but this year, they will be no where near the potatoes and will have horse poo power to help them out! 3. French Beans- we’ll see what happens to them! 4. Salads 5. Strawberries- but need to destroy the slugs! This year I plan to start the carrots, and beans off in the house. I will use cut in half toilet roll tubes. These can be planted directly into the soil. Hopefully this will allow the roots to become established. Now all this planting is great to do with children. It allows them to learn where food comes from, as well as equipping them with the skills to grow their own food (hopefully). Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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