With the weather changing and signs of summer on the horizon, my family is excited to be out in our gardens. My husband and I both grew up growing food on our family farms, and love sharing this with our children. At two and four years old, they are already skilled at planting seeds, watering, pulling carrots from the soil and, of course, finding all of the ripest raspberries before we get any!
Gardening teaches many lessons, such as how plants grow, how to care for something and how important patience is. Gardening is always teaching us new things. As soon as you think you have mastered something, there are new experiments to try. Families can also incorporate family literacy activities into their gardening to enhance their learning together.
With most people at home this spring due to COVID-19, there are many people looking to garden for the first time this year. Parents are also doing family literacy activities as a way to continue their children’s learning while schools are closed. If you are gardening with your family, it can be hard to think of ways to incorporate literacy activities on the spot. It is helpful to have a toolkit of ideas. Here are some of my favourite family literacy activities to do while gardening.
Remember that everyone can garden, in even the smallest spaces. Many people worry about not having a “green thumb”, but many plants are hardy and can help develop your gardening confidence. If you are worried about space or your growing skills, you can start with potted herbs or hardy greens like kale or chard. Most of the activities above can been done whether gardening in patio pots or large garden plots.
-Katie Johnson, Family and Community Literacy Coordinator
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