Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tips on Kids + Garden

Last week, we hosted an area teacher training workshop organized by DC Schoolyard Greening. It was a two part-er: one evening spent at Bancroft elementary and one day spent out in the Washington Youth Garden. The first session focused on starting a school garden, implementing gardening into curriculum, and accessing resources. Our second session was geared towards gaining hands-on skills. We had workshops on seeding and transplanting, composting, soil testing, tool safety, and working with children outside. In the last workshop, we shared thoughts and experiences regarding working with children in a garden and recorded our collective wisdom on the subject.

Tips on gardening with children from Washington DC educators...
Small groups are best
Do not give a child the hose
Start small
Sense of ownership - can divide space by classes
Start traditions
See results - grow salad greens
Let children design
Liter bottles with holes for watering
Protect planted areas - clearly mark, use row covers
Get salad spinners
Make your own salad dressing
Use colors
Plant bulbs (cluster with hula hoops)
Have older kids teach younger ones
Incorporate literature
Do soil testing with children
Take time for journaling
Fun to grow: popcorn, lufas (can make soap too), cotton
Get donations - befriend Garden Center manager
Don't try to do too much
Let children cook
Children will eat what they grow
Find the stories behind the plants you grow
Stickers and temporary tattoos make good prizes
Just let the kids dig
Look for bugs
Incorporate arts and crafts
Make garden signs with children
Don't get too fancy

Happy gardening!

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