Marshall has been involved in every step of this process. From picking out seeds to building the garden bed with his dad; this garden is just as much his as it is Brad & mine.
Every other day Marshall and I grab our watering cans and walk around our yard. Back and forth, from the single spigot to our flourishing plants. We talk, practice annunciation, and I point out the world around him.
It’s a really nice, calm time between my son and I. Sometimes little Vi even tags along on my back as I narrate our actions for them. Trying to build both of their vocabularies.
Watering the flower bushes
and the grapes
He is your typical four year old, always asking “why?” And wanting to know how things work. I want to nurture his inquisitiveness, letting it grow as strong as our vegetables. So I had a simple little idea to show him the answer to his questions of “How do they get bigger?” “Why do we put water on the dirt?”
I had to thin out certain plants that were growing on top of each other. I kept a few of the plants and brought them to our back patio for Marshall to examine. He washed the roots in water, with a little bit of food coloring in there, to help the roots pop a bit more.
We examined the different roots of each plant. How lettuce has one long root with several little roots shooting out from it. How some of several roots in a clump or some have hardly any. “This one doesn’t have very many!” I explained that that one was a carrot. That it’s a root vegetable, meaning that we eat the root. I reminded him what carrots look like, he instantly understood then why there is only one root.
I pointed out each (basic) piece of the plant: the leaves, stem, and roots. We worked on saying the words properly, helping Marshall apply some of his tools from speech. Then I explained, at an appropriate level, how plants grow.
That the sun hits the leaves and we water the dirt so that it travels down to the roots. The sun and water act as food to help them grow. Marshall loved learning all of this. He now talks about “watering the roots” rather than the “dirt”.
And so as we grow our garden, we also grow our knowledge- while lessening our carbon footprint. A win all the way around.
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your littles? How do you help nurture their love of learning?