Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Garden with a Toddler

Tomatoes, squashes, peppers, eggplants, beans, and herbs!
   Dr. Montessori said, "[Gardening] and manual work are a great pleasure to our children. Gardening is already well known as a feature of infant education, and it is recognized by all that plants and animals attract the children's care and attention."
   This summer we decided to try our hand at a family garden. It has been a wonderful learning expereince for Q-ball and me. My plant-killing curse appears to have lifted, and Q-ball loves being outdoors and exercising her senses. 
   Dr. Montessori notes that gardening is one form of "muscular education" for children. All our time outside has certainly kept Q-ball physically active, so I can attest to that! Beyond this, Dr. Montessori explains that, "The education of the senses is of the highest importance for both [biological and social] purposes; the development of the senses precedes that of higher intellectual powers." 
    Here is how our garden has helped Q-ball foster her sensory awareness:
Smell: She loves to get close to the plants and sniff them- especially mint and basil!
Sound: Chirping birds, crunching leaves, flowing water, and barking dogs
Touch- rocks, various textures of plants, dirt, water. She loves helping weed!
Sight: With Q-ball's watering skills, our garden is growing every day with new flowers and plants to see!  We also get to watch for butterflies and birds.
Taste: Of course!  We love our veggies. Q-ball also loves to just chew on the herbs...and sometimes weeds...
If we can keep a garden, anyone can!  So, pull out your gloves and shovels and start today!

Montessori, M. (2004). The discovery of the child. Akkar Books:Delhi.
Montessori, M. (1914). Dr. Montessori's own handbook. Frederick A Stokes Company: NY.

Linking up with:
Montessori Monday

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