You can teach your kids a passion for gardening and respect for Mother Nature by getting them involved at a young age.
Ages 2 – 3 Children this age are curious and like to engage in simple pastimes such as digging a hole and pouring water into it. They are also drawn to small creatures such as bugs, worms and colourful butterflies, and like to collect and touch. Encourage them to potter around your garden, explore plants and their shapes and sizes, and teach them where plants come from and how they grow from seed to plant.
A simple and inexpensive way to make, plant bean seeds in plastic cups to allow young gardeners to watch seeds sprout and introduce them to the life cycle of plants.
Clear plastic cups (can be washed and reused)
Construction paper Paper towels
Dried Beans (available in the grocery store soup aisle)
Prep work – For younger children, cut pieces of construction paper into rectangular strips to fit inside the plastic cups ahead of time.
- Help kids place a piece of construction paper inside a plastic cup so that it lines the sides of the cup.
- Ball up a few pieces of paper towels and place them inside the construction paper liner until the cup is full.
- Let them pick out 3 to 4 dried beans (avoid using any beans that are slit) and place them in the cup between the side of the cup and the construction paper liner.
- Gently water the paper towels in the centre until saturated.
- Place the cup (or cups if you would like multiples) on a shelf or windowsill and watch them grow. They should start to grown in approximately 2 to 3 days. Water as necessary to keep the paper towel and seeds continually moist.
- After the roots emerge, the stem and leaves will begin to appear. You can continue to grow your plant as long as you want for observation, however generally seeds that have been spouted this way do not transplant well out into the garden and they will not be able to grow to maturity in the cup.