Pot Planting with Toddlers
After you visit somewhere like a conservatory or a farm, planting is a natural follow-up activity. Planting, caring for, and harvesting small crops are also a wonderful activity for young children to learn more about how things grow and develop important self help skills. Here is how we went about pot planting with our two year olds;
Prepare all of the materials ahead of time so that each child has a prepared planting station. Lay newspaper or large paper to cover the surface you are using, unless you are doing the activity outside.
Have a smaller pot for each type of plant you plan to grow.
Prepare a larger pot or bowl full of dirt and a scoop - measuring scoops worked well for us.
Have a packets of seeds handy, but unopened.
Invite your child to plant or, if they helped you pick out the supplies earlier, remind them of your plan to plant together.
Have them scoop dirt into their pot.
Demonstrate how to poke a hole for the seeds and then invite them to try.
Put seeds in the holes - this does not need to be perfect, but encourage them to spread the seeds out in the pot.
Scoop more dirt to cover up the seeds.
Have them help you fill up a watering can or a cup at the sink if they can reach. Then carefully carry it back and water the seeds. Talk about how it will be their job to water the seeds a couple of times a week.
Then together find a sunny place to put your pots.
Wash their hands or, if they are capable, send them to wash their hands.
Remove the pot of dirt and then the paper from the table.
Finish by sweeping. If your child is interested, they might like to help you with this step as well. A little set like this makes it easier for them to practice.
Seeds - we planted marigolds, basil, and green beans
Measuring Cups to use as scoops
Watering can or cup of water
Newspaper or other large piece of paper
*Remember to water your plants occassionally. I am a terrific plant killer - putting a reminder on my phone helps me, but having a set day or two that you water might also help. Here's a post about how our toddlers water their plants.
*For older children, plot the growth or draw pictures about what you think the seeds might look like after they sprout.
*Look for a good pesto recipe, because fresh basil is amazing!
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