Plant it!

I started to write this post on May 3, now it is the 23rd and I have decided to finally finish it.

We have been spending a large part of our time outdoors, and is has been really lovely except I find it difficult to get any housework done as we are always outside. . .

I love to plant things and watch them grow.  My parents own a tree/landscaping business and I used to work for them in the summers during college.  I think my love for digging in the dirt really formed then.  Bridget has already solidified her love for dirt and especially worms.

“Gardening” sometimes implies a real garden that produces something of substance, and while that is great, with children, I find that just the process can be satisfying.   We don’t have a large yard, but we do have a perineal bed in the front of our house which we plan on turning into a patio next year, so this year we transplanted most of what is in it and turned it into a vegetable garden.

Gardening is also a great activity that works for boys or girls. Bridget along with two 4-year old neighbors helped me plant the pea plant seeds, and anytime I come out to check on their growth or pull a few weeds, all the children get out their little rakes or shovels to help (but usually just end up digging for worms, something we do almost daily!)

Something we were “famous” for in Oak Park among our friends with toddlers were our two pink flamingos, and I am happy to report that several Indianapolis toddlers are fans as well.  They live in our garden and help us feel at home here.

Have I mentioned watering?  My children’s other favorite play thing besides dirt is water.  I have had up to six children watering my plants with various plastic watering cans.  Good not so clean fun. A garden truly provides daily acitivities throughout the entire summer.

We have not always had the luxury of living in a home with a yard, so don’t let that stop you – you can do amazing things with potted gardens on a deck or patio or even a window sill!

A great simple book that does a nice job of outlining the growing process from a seed and other various natural processes is Usborne First Picture Nature book.

Another favorite nature project that we have done two springs in a row is to order caterpillars from insect lore and watch them turn into butterflies.

This is what my children are likely doing if not digging for worms, making mud pies or running in the sprinkler


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