Friday, April 2, 2010

Fun Friday: Plant a Flower

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard

THE IDEA
Plant some colorful, bright new flowers.

We won’t be planting our garden for a couple more weeks, so I thought it might be fun to show my 5-year-old what’s to come. And since colorful flowers offer immediate rewards for the effort, I figured it was a sure hit.


OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
We started our adventure with a trip to the nursery to choose the flowers we wanted to plant. (You can easily cut out this step to make things a little simpler, but I wanted to involve my son in it from the get go.) I encouraged my son to pick out something really bright and colorful; we ultimately went with marigolds.

When we got home, we gathered our pots, some potting soil and our gardening tools and headed out to the back yard. I might have made a mistake in putting on my gardening gloves, because suddenly my son wanted to use his, too. There went my notion that he’d be getting his hands dirty!

From there, my 5-year-old took over as if he were a pro.


He put a couple handfuls of soil in each of our three pots, then pointed to the flowers he wanted to place in each one. I broke them free from their nursery-provided plastic mold and handed them to him. He planted away to his heart’s content.

When all three pots were brimming with red-orange marigolds, my son gave them a good dose of watering.


Then we moved them to their new home on our front porch.

Our planting activity took us less than half an hour but left me smiling for the rest of the afternoon. I’d forgotten how happy a newly potted plant makes you feel. And I’d also forgotten how rewarding it is to watch a little one plant something.

TAKE-HOME TIPS
You can make this activity really simple by procuring the pots, soil, plants and gardening tools ahead of time. To make it even more fun, you might want to:
  • Let your child choose the flowers. My son’s pretty particular about colors, so I figured he’d enjoy our activity more if he got to choose the plant. It added a fun excursion to the nursery, too, which was an added bonus.

  • Skip the gloves. When it comes to kids, the saying “monkey see, monkey do” couldn’t be truer. I wish I hadn’t put my gloves on so my kiddo would have been more willing to get his hands dirty. After all, isn’t that half the fun?

ANOTHER FUN IDEA JUST IN TIME FOR EASTER
Since I’ve been off exploring Hawaii this week, I haven’t had a chance to check out all the wonderful ideas for outdoor fun posted elsewhere around the web. But if you're looking to plan the perfect Easter egg hunt, check out this post from ActiveKidsClub.

Whatever you do this weekend, be sure to head outdoors!

2 comments:

  1. so much fun! my niece is 3 and loves gardening. Last spring they planted tomattos and strawberries and stuff. Everyday she'd say "i need to check my plants and water them." she was cute about it. They've moved recently so they're going to get a new garden started.

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  2. Jana, I'm excited to see how the kids respond to our upcoming garden adventures. Sure sounds like your niece took to it well. I think my kiddos will be excited to see something they planted actually grow into something they can eat. At least, that's what I'm hoping! :)

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