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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Kids In The Back Yard Garden For Science 101

A garden is a great way to teach children hands-on science! Last year, our family finished something my husband and I had dreamed about even before they were born. In our old house, we had a garden that did quite well. After we moved, my husband had the lawn treated for weeds and we just never could figure out where to put a garden so as not to allow the run-off from the weed killer to filter in. We also didn't want to completely destroy our backyard with a dug up spot of dirt which looks like nothing more than a dug up spot of dirt in winter months. But, we found the right location and built a fence around it. It is at the very top of our back yard hill, where there is no danger of run-off from weed killer or lawn treatments.
This year, we got a late start. But, a couple weeks ago, we planted our seeds for our garden this year. In fact, they're already sprouting in our little home-made greenhouse. The kids have a blast planing the seeds and watching them grow. They even love harvesting them. But, somehow they don't really enjoy the particular veggies I chose last year. So, this year we're hoping for the best with plants I will probably regret planting as they spread. But, it's all in the name of science and love.

We currently have sprouts coming up from the pumpkins, radishes and sweet corn. Much to my children's turned-up noses, I'm hoping the green peppers make it too. Last year, we had a good crop of those. I would also like to get some tomatoes in the ground, but will probably purchase some plant starts for these since we're rather late in starting them from seeds.

There's so much science in a garden. From a pre-school level understanding to a graduate level, there's much to be learned. From the moment your child is big enough to get their hands dirty, they can begin to understand the science of nature and food. There is a study in vitamins and nutrients that come from each particular plant. There is the study of environment and recycling and natural fertilizers. There is the study of molecules and so much more. Watch for the glint in your child's eyes and take it to a full-fledged learning opportunity.


  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

  2. Our yard is pretty much just dug-up spots of dirt! The girls have a genuine mud pit in the front and back yards for their play, at least half the front yard supports our pitiful garden, and I have to admit that I regularly harvest the dandelions for sauteed greens and dandelion jelly. Perhaps we should plant a nice lawn and surround THAT with a fence!