Children can help prepare for winter

By Esther Macalady
Posted 11/13/18

There isn’t much time left. Children can help clean up the garden and prepare for winter. Then there is one last thing to teach children about gardening before winter sets in: planting bulbs for …

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Children can help prepare for winter

Posted

There isn’t much time left. Children can help clean up the garden and prepare for winter. Then there is one last thing to teach children about gardening before winter sets in: planting bulbs for spring time magic.

Children will need gloves, small shovels or large spoons, garden bulbs, a rolled up towel to kneel on, paper and crayons for a map, leaves for mulch, and water.

Planting Bulbs

Explain that together you are planting flowers that will surprise everyone in the spring. Then walk around the yard and discuss where some flowers could be planted based on good soil, water, sunshine and visibility through windows.

Shop together for some bulb like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, narcissus, crocus, and allium. Discuss colors and check that the bulbs look healthy and fresh. Also discuss that animals like to eat bulbs and flowers, too. If you have many animals, you might want to stick to daffodils, narcissus, and alliums. Squirrels many also move your bulbs around. 

Using proper upper and lower case letters, carefully print a list of tools and other materials.  Gather the materials while your child checks off the list.

Make a big deal of reading the planting directions on the back of the package and read the steps several times out loud to plan the planting sequence together. Who will do each step? Now examine the bulbs. Notice texture and size.  Discuss that there is a small plant inside that stays cool all winter and then will grow when the temperature gets warmer. Where is the pointed side of the bulb that must face up?  What will come from the pointed side?  What will come from the round bottom side? 

You can discuss and create a planting assembly line. Make a hole based on package directions, place the bulb in the hole pointed side up, and cover up the hole. Finally, give it a few gentle “love pats”. 

When all of the bulbs are planted, water well and cover with mulch, leaves, or both. Discuss that the soil, leaves, and snow will keep the bulbs warm just like a blanket. Then sketch a quick map of the flower types and where they are placed.

What Children Learn

Young children are learning economics by making a planned purchase, and checking out prices and quality. Adults are showing the value of reading directions, writing by making a list, and following thosedirections. Children learn geographic skills by making a site map. They beautify the neighborhood, increase science vocabulary, learn how plants grow, and learn how animals and humans interact in the environment. Children could also plant a few bulbs for an elderly neighbor to enjoy in the spring and spread kindness.

Esther Macalady is a retired schoolteacher in Golden. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com; wnmufm.org/Learning through the Seasons; Pinterest, and Facebook.

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