Kas Winters
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Watch it Grow

Watch it Grow!!
by Kas Winters, Mother of Family Ideas™ 

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Bing Images

In these days of texting, electronic communication, digital entertainment, and computerized everything, children and others are losing touch with nature. Compared with a generation or two ago, most children don’t go outside to play, spend time exploring woods, fields, meadows, lakes, mountains, rivers, or other areas in nature. It will take a love of nature–a deep caring for the earth itself–to save it from destruction that is occurring on many levels. Getting to know the beauty and wonder of Mother Earth from the rocks to the plants to the animals is one way to build a lifelong love of this planet that will work toward preserving it.

 

Here are some ideas for letting children experience life and growth through planting and nurturing.

 

Plant something.

Plant indoors in a flower pot with soil, in a jar or glass with water, or outdoors in a planter or in the ground. Planting something can be as simple as suspending a sweet potato in a jar filled with water. (Use several round toothpicks pushed halfway into the potato, around the center, so half of it is underwater and the other half sticks out of the top of the container.) Add water to the jar and watch as the roots and leaves develop. They usually grow quickly and can fill a kitchen window area with leafy vines. Watch them grow. Let children water the potato. If you have a place to plant this outdoors in the ground after it develops leaves, you can actually get a small crop of edible sweet potatoes. In the window, in water, you can have a lovely vine.

There are several fruits and vegetables that can be planted from produce you get at the grocery store. Let children watch them grow. Cut the top off a carrot (about an inch or so, including any part of the green section where leaves have been trimmed away), and put it in a shallow container so that it can sit in some water. Keep it wet and see what happens. Greenery will probably begin growing out of the top of the carrot. (This won’t grow a new carrot; that takes seeds and dirt.)  When you cut the top off a pineapple, put it in a pot with some soil and add water. Most will start growing and if you are lucky, you might even get one to grow a flower. (We’ve never had one get fruit on it, but it is fun to watch it develop new leaves.) You can plant seeds from avocados in dirt or suspended in water and get a lovely plant.

If you want to use seeds, Fill a container with soil and make sure water can drain out of the bottom. Use a pan underneath so leaking is not a problem. Put some radish seeds in the dirt, just barely beneath the surface. Water the seeds. Soon, you will have little green leaves poking up out of the dirt and before too long, there will be radishes to eat. Because radishes grow quickly, children love to watch them grow. Even kids who don’t like radishes often acquire a taste for them when they grown their own. These can be grown indoors on a window sill where there is plenty of light.

Let children water houseplants. The can give “their” plant a name and take care of it. Get information about the care of their plant. They can even track its growth by measuring, counting leaves, or, in some cases, watching it bloom. It’s a little connection to nature–but a very real one.

If you have places to plant outside, where children are really in a natural situation, that’s even better. Plant vegetables, flowers, bushes, or maybe even a tree. Get a child involved in caring for plants and watching them grow. It’s a little step toward loving and caring for their world. (If plants don’t thrive and grow, try again. There are life lessons to be learned in that experience too.)

For more gardening ideas, there are several pages with articles about gardening at http://www.everythingfamily.net/garden.htm

For April family ideas, go to:  http://www.winmarkcom.com/aprilholidays.htm  To order my book with more than 5,000 activities that teach, and develop self-esteem and confidence while children are having fun, go to:http://www.winmarkcom.com/motherlode.htm.

Check out my NEW book Get that Book out of your Head and into Print

http://www.yourwordsinprint.com

 

Kas Winters, “Mother of Family Ideas”

602-789-9240
Winmark Communications & Everything Family
http://www.winmarkcom.com