Hide The Learning In Dirt!
I’ve worked with kids of all ages, for about seven years now and they have taught me so much!
A few major things that I’ve learned are:
- They are tiny adults! They want to do everything that you do.
- Kids love to get dirty! (For the most part, Haha!) Really they just love sensory activities and benefit so much from them.
- They’re not aware of where their food comes from. And this makes it the perfect time to introduce them to healthy options!
- If you give them the option to explore and ask questions, they are sponges and will soak it all up.
- If you tell them they’re learning, you’ll get nothing accomplished.
- So, with this project, we’re going to Hide It In The Dirt!!
Pin Me For Later!!
Get Them Involved
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I run an In Home Daycare, and one of the things that my parents seem to love is that I like to include their kiddos in our homesteading lifestyle.
They help me call the chickens and collect the eggs.
We make our lunches together and make a treat at least once a week.
And I expose them to the healthy foods, that a lot of the time are grown right here in our back yard.
This year will be my first full summer with the daycare in my home, and I really plan on stepping it up with including them in the garden.
With our home garden I get nervous with plants being so delicate and the enthusiasm that kids can get when they help. So, I’ve decided to give them their own!
Today the kids and I started planning it all out and they are so excited!
How Can The Garden Help With Sensory Needs?
When I worked in Autistic Support and Early Intervention classrooms, sensory time was SO important! And each child seemed to have their own needs. But what is a sensory activity and how can it help?
We all have sensory needs, whether we realize it or not. It’s not just something for people with special needs.
Pressures and textures, sounds and colors are just a few things that affect us. I absolutely cannot sleep without the weight of a blanket on me and over crowded rooms make me want to run away. The textures of foods can bother people, as well.
Have you ever noticed how calming it can be to let sand run through your fingers? Or moving them back and forth in water?
Activities like this have an extreme calming and grounding affect on children. So, digging in the dirt or pouring water on plants is a sensory activity in itself!
It can also desensitize the children that have issues with these sensory activities. We’ve all seen the kid that is just freaked out by the idea of touching something that might be considered dirty or sticky.
Give them time to get used to it and they will see the fun their friends (or you) are having and will want to join in.
Get Them Thinking!
To start our garden, the kids and I wrote out a plan, just like you would with your own garden. This is a great time to ask questions and get them thinking.
“W” questions are really hard for kids to wrap their heads around, so I like to throw them in a lot throughout the day and really give them time to process and guide them through answering the question, without answering it for them.
So when we started planning, I made a simple question printable for us to use. (Subscribe here for access to this printable and other homestead printables!)
Just a few simple questions about what we want in our garden, what it needs and why we garden led to so many other great questions and opened up an awesome conversation about plants and living a more healthy lifestyle!
By asking them what they wanted in their very own garden, led to them thinking about what they would eat, or want to try and what they thought was beautiful!
Where Do We Go From Here?
I hope to make this a series of posts to share with you, throughout our kid gardening adventure! So, what’s the next step?
After our discussion, we’ve decided what we want in our garden. Now it’s time to start our seeds!
Our next step will be a little sensory play with seed starting mix, followed by starting our own seeds.
As I’m writing this, I’m also thinking about the lesson the kids are going to learn in patience! I’ll let you know how they do…
Check back next week to see what we decided to grow, and how messy we got Ms. Staci’s floor! (Don’t worry, I’m totally cool with it. It’s Nick you need to worry about!)
Do you include your kids in the garden? Tell us about it in the comments!