Gardening can be a great tool to help you educate your children about a whole number of things, whilst keeping things fun and entertaining. Whether you’re utilising the great outdoors to illustrate lessons that would ordinarily begin the classroom, or teaching them about nature, there’s an endless number of activities on offer to supplement your child’s learning experience.
There’s plenty of places to find inspiration, if you’re looking to bring your child’s education outside, such as the Kiddi Caru gardening campaign, as well as a lot of other online resources. In fact, read on as we’ve pulled together a whole host of different activities and lessons to help you on your way. Keep reading to find out more.
Counting (and general maths)
Any objects can be used to teach your child how to count. This is a great technique for any child who learns best kinaesthetically – which means by carrying out physical activities in order to understand new ideas. When it comes to gardening, there are a whole host of ways to facilitate basics maths comprehension. For example, you can ask your child to count out the seeds from the packet before you start planting. It may seem like a simple idea, but it’ll make your child feel like they have an important role in the gardening process whilst also helping them learn.
New words and concepts
As they’re introduced to the outside world, your child will begin to learn all of these new words and phrases. As they get to physically interact with nature, it’ll help them to learn and remember these new words. For example, you can teach your child the definition of “squish” by encouraging them to touch the mud in your garden and actively squish the dirt for themselves. Once they’ve gained this basic knowledge, why not start drawing out the easier words and asking your child to trace over them, before trying it out for themselves. What’s more, if there’s any concrete in your front of back garden – perhaps even a driveway – you could get some chalk and allow your child to draw out their new words on the ground.
Arts and crafts
There are many ways that you can get creative when gardening with your child. One option is bringing the outdoors inside – ask your child to gather sticks, flowers and grass and use these materials to create rustic pieces of art with a glue stick and a big piece of paper. For younger artists, you can sketch out an outline for them to fill with everything they’ve gathered. What’s more, for an easier clean up, you can get out all of the paints and supplies on a nice sunny day, and get your child to make their masterpiece outside. Not only will your child be getting all of the fresh air possible, your poor cream sofas will be safe from paint splatters!
Another great idea is to take your child on a walk around nature and identify the colours they can find – especially when it comes to bugs. This is because this next activity involves the age-old butterfly painting technique. Simply fold a piece of paper in half and on one side let your child place paint splodges in those colours that they recognise from nature. Then, you just fold the paper in half and apply a little pressure, spreading the colours onto the other side. Once dry, you can get a black pen and add in any extra details. And, for bonus points, ask your child to write the word “butterfly” to complete the project.