At the weekend I pondered about this week’s topic and had two ideas in mind: dinosaurs and gardening. Currently two of the preschooler’s favourite things. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said gardening, then dinosaurs, then gardening, then dinosaurs… I decided we would do gardening with a dinosaur theme! And so this is what we made yesterday: a dumper truck ready to sprout and a dino garden.
I’m keen to make sure that gardening is as fun as possible for the preschooler because I really want to nurture the interest he has in growing and wildlife. He has been so excited to see the little seedlings appear in our Plenty Pots and can’t wait for his den to start growing either. With this in mind, I wanted to do something a little different with the rest of our seeds (cress, love in a mist and mint) so we scoured the house for suitable ideas.I always aim for an idea that won’t interfere with our finances or (college) investment tracking and these activities are certainly cheap and easy to do!
Dumper trucks and welly boots
I had already saved an old pair of The Big One’s wellies for planting and so they were the first choice. To prepare them for planting I;
- used a screwdriver to make a few small holes in the sole of the boot for water to drain. This was easy because these boots are made from EVA foam and came with a furry liner, so they’re different to normal boots
- helped the preschooler to fill them with soil and add water
Then we looked at the cress and mint seeds, talking about the differences in colour, size, shape and smell. The preschooler then carefully planted the seeds in the boots before we moved on to the dumper truck. The preschooler was able to do this all by himself. He:
- scooped some soil and tipped it into the back of the truck
- added a little sprinkle of water
- scattered some cress seeds on top of the soil.
Then we put the dumper truck carefully on the windowsill so that it can get plenty of sunlight.
In our plastic pots we planted Love in a Mist to go straight outside in the sensory garDEN. The preschooler was concerned about birds eating the seeds so we decided that we would make a scarecrow this week. Watch this space!
I’m really keen to show the preschooler how amazing plants can be, and how we can grow things on a limited budget too. I’d read about ‘Tops and Tails’ gardening before and knew that some fruit and vegetables could grow easily from scraps. We decided to start with carrots as the ends looked a little like rocks you would find in a dino world! To make the dino garden we:
- collected stones from the driveway onto a plastic plate
- added water (and noted later that day that the stones had soaked up lots of water)
- popped some carrot ends onto the stones (we used organic as they are more likely to grow)
- added some toy dinosaurs to protect the crops!
In a couple of weeks, hopefully, leaves will start to grow in our dino garden! I intend to do some more kitchen scrap gardening with the children and want to use apple pips, avocado stones and pineapple tops too.
The preschooler wasn’t feeling too well so we mainly stayed inside for this activity, although we did pop out to check on our beans and water the plants in the sensory garDEN. Today’s activities were lots of fun and the preschooler is learning lots about growing too. I’m hoping keeping the activities short, focused and fun with help to devleop his little green fingers even more!