Well hello spring!! We are all loving this amazing weather here in Colorado which totally has us itching for some gardening fun with the family. Since we live in Colorado we do have to be careful of our garden and not start planting seeds or plants too early because goodness knows we have had snow on Mother's Day here! So, while we wait for that perfectly timed planting day (let me know if you know that day okay?!), we decided to start really educating Jude and Teagan about gardening by focusing on cleaning out and preparing our gardens. I must thank Tree Top for sponsoring this post and getting our kids excited to garden this summer!
Most of you know that we are a Montessori loving family and one of my favorite parts about Montessori learning is the gardening aspect they incorporate into teaching every year. After learning more about why the Montessori lessons include gardening I was hooked and decided that we must have a garden!
“Children indeed love flowers, but they need to do something more than remain among them and contemplate their colored blossoms. They find their greatest pleasure in acting, in knowing, in exploring, even apart from the attraction of external beauty.” Dr. Maria Montessori
Even before we ventured into the backyard to tend to the garden we took the kids to the nursery to pick out some veggie and fruit seeds. This was also a very teachable moment for them both, the immediately started picking up tons of seed packets but we had to stop them. We had way too many for our little box garden so we told them that while a seed is tiny now, it grows and grows and each plant needs its own space. We also talked about how we only want to grow plants that we will actually eat the produce from - no waste! We left the nursery with some great choices and and some very anxious kids!
Gardening teaches children so much. It isn't just about the seeds you plant, it is about the whole process. Maria Montessori was dead on - it isn't about the blooms, the teaching takes place with every step in gardening so make sure the kids are involved in every step. Right now we are focused on preparing our garden. This means that those "pretty" yellow flowers must be taken care of - even against Teagan's liking! She really thinks those flowers are pretty! Hello teachable moment!!
While we were enjoying the amazing weather outside we cleaned out the garden of all those weeds and got our garden nice and ready for some perfect planting weather and seeds. There is truly so much that can be taught when gardening with children of all ages.
This summer we have big plans for the kiddos picking up trash, mixing soil, grind egg shells, mulch plants, feed birds and wedding. They can then learn all about worms and soil, sun verses shade, identify the growing plants and of course the most fun - harvesting! All of these activities reinforce a respect for all living things and recognition that in a garden there is no such thing as trash or waste! I also hope to focus on how bugs and worms affect gardens, what helps plants grow and the life cycle of gardens.
What a busy afternoon in the garden!! We had to take a break and Tree Top Apple Sauce pouches are the best gardening break snack! I love these pouches not only because they are a perfect mess free, on-the-go snack but because they are filled with pure fruit that my kids enjoy!
While doing some family gardening research I found out that Tree Top is teaming up with a great website called KidsGardening.org - this website is the perfect one stop shop for all gardening information for this summer. For every purchase of Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches, Tree Top will donate a dollar to KidsGardening.org to help fund community garden projects and raise good apples across the country! So awesome! The Raising Good Apples campaign means that buying these nutritious pouches for snacks we are not only enjoying a great treat but we are helping other kids learn more about gardening.
If you are considering starting a garden with your family this spring I really encourage you to visit KidsGardening.org, you will find some great tips to make a great garden for your family but also find some really fun activities for the kids. There are so many crafts that I cannot wait to try that I found on this website!!
Let's start Raising Good Apples!
To get your gardening fun off to a great start this spring I have a great giveaway that you must enter! Enter on the Rafflecopter below and win a gardening set worth $60.00!
The giveaway will be open from April 7, 2015 to May 15, 2015 at midnight PST and will be sponsored by Sway Group. Forty winners will be selected to receive a gardening set valued at $60. Sway Group will select the winners on or about May 18, 2015 and we will follow up with the prizewinners.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.