Gabbi really wanted me to do a post about one of the projects we have been working on…
When my daughter approached me about wanting to start her own garden this year at first I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. Not because I didn’t want her to be able to have her own garden, but because she is only five and I do not have a green thumb. I kill plants, constantly. Not intentionally, I just don’t know what to do with them and they just always seem to die in my care. I would feel awful if these plants she was so excited about didn’t survive and she was sad.
She was persistent about wanting to start a garden though so we decided that when the spring came she could have her own little section in the yard to grow some plants. Well, the spring was too far off for her and she really wanted to start her garden now, indoors. I was skeptical because now this meant that we would have to research about starting plants inside and moving them outside eventually. Also, caring for plants that start as seeds is a little more work than buying some pre-grown plants from The Garden Factory and planting them outside. On a random trip to Lowes (we seem to be there all the time as new homeowners ), we came across these little garden kits call “Growums”.
These kits came with seeds, growing pods, little labels and a watering tray designed for starting a garden indoors to move outside! I had been saved. It appeared that even with my lack of knowledge in gardening, this kit geared towards kids would solve all of our gardening problems. Furthermore the kit came equipped with a website full of short, fun video clips about how to take care of your garden, what was happening under the soil and games to help the kids grasp these concepts! Think Veggie Tales meets Bill Nye – we loved it! This kit took all of the guesswork out of growing the little seedlings and we both ended up learning a lot. Gabbi was so excited when she woke up one morning and her little pods were sporting some pretty decent sprouts.
I couldn’t believe it was already time to move these little guys to some nice, big pots! We went on a special trip to Lowes on Sunday just for Gabbi’s garden and I was so proud when she decided she wanted to handle everything herself. We found this super nice women who seemed to know EVERYTHING about gardens and I sat back amazed as Gabbi asked all of the right questions on her own! What size pot, the best soil for replanting indoors, how much water they needed, do we need to remove the outside of the pods, how to test the soil for water, and anything else she could think of. She seemed to have remembered everything from the videos and lessons we did on plants! I was so proud! She even promised to bring in a picture of her plants all nicely potted for the “Garden Lady” to see. We came home with all of our ceramic pots and sat down to paint them so that they would be kind of fun and funky! Once they dried we were able to get to planting them, with Gabbi doing the majority of the work herself.
She spent about and hour and half making sure that they were happy in their new homes.
When we were all done we carefully moved them back to their home on our window sill where they will live until it is warm enough to let the pots enjoy some fresh air outside and when they are bigger we will plant them in the ground! Gabbi can’t wait to pick them and eat them! She chose lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and Jalapenos to plant. I should probably take a moment to mention that sadly the Jalapenos didn’t survive inside. It was a sad moment when we had to dispose of their sproutless pods.
RIP Spicy Peppers
For anyone with children who want to plant a garden or if you are looking for something to help them gain some confidence in their abilities to care for something as well as teaching them some responsibility, I would definitely recommend purchasing one of these kits or something like it. Since setting ground rules that these are her own plants and that I will not water them, move them into the sun or check the soil she has really stepped up and has not needed much reminding to check on them. Furthermore she has remembered her only other two daily chores (1.make her bed in the morning and pick up her clothes before coming downstairs and 2. feed Roxi twice a day) without needing reminding as well. I should mention she does have other chores that vary daily, these are the only 2 that are consistent. This project has been an awesome learning experience for us and I will do another post when we move onto the next steps!
I will leave with a picture of what Autumn was busy doing while we were planting and cleaning…
…this girls loves her snacking!! Pretzels, cantaloupe, and some crackers kept her occupied while we were working. We really only heard from her when her tray was empty
What are some projects you guys have done with your kids that you really enjoyed?