Gardening with preschool to kindergarten-aged children can be a relaxing and enjoyable learning experience for all. At CHMS we have fall and spring gardening time broken down into one simple task each week so that it is fun and even our youngest helpers feel successful. The children take pride in caring for the plants and animals living in our garden.
We incorporate our gardening program into our weekly Specials rotation. Once a week, the gardens are tended to in a variety of ways:
CLEANING/PRUNING: Clean out the garden and do any required trimming. Trimmings are added to the compost bin.
PLANTING: We include plant seedlings, vegetables, and herbs. Child-sized gardening tools are provided to each child to promote independence and reduce accidents.
MULCHING: Prepping the gardens for winter and summer requires lots of mulch! The children love “putting the plants to bed” in the fall and making sure they stay well-hydrated in the spring.
WATER: We use small watering cans or beakers to help the children learn to control where they are pouring, keeping the water around the base of the plants rather than pouring it on top of the plants or flowers. The children can water the plants while they are outside for playtime as well. We fill a large bucket with water and the children know that they can use the beakers to transport water around the garden to the areas that need it.
FEEDING: While working in the garden each week, we encourage responsibility by having the children to help take care of their habitat garden by rinsing out the water bowls, hummingbird feeders, and cleaning the bird food containers. We fill the feeders with fresh seed and enjoy watching a variety of visiting birds from our classroom windows as a result!