Outdoor Classroom: Time to Haul & Dig in the Garden!


How do you turn that little plot of dirt into a kid-friendly place to grow veggies and flowers that kids will love?  

                      Four-year old enjoying the peace of the garden in the Spring
All Photos taken by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Now's the time to get the garden started and that just might be the most fun part of all. If you don't have a kid-size wheel barrel, you don't know what you're missing!

                 Little children hauling stepping stones into the soon-to-be garden plot

If your outdoor environment has a little patch of dirt, then you have the starters for a fun garden project for the children that will bring enjoyment all year long. 
We started with hauling child-size stepping stones from the trunk of my car to the future garden. Stepping stones and child-size wheel barrel were from the Home Depot. Here's the link:
Home Depot child's wheelbarrow

Placing stepping stones in you future garden plot is not only a very satisfying activity for young children, it also sets up a great "control of error" for later work in the garden. 

Providing a little pathway in the garden helps the children walk in the area that is not planted, rather than walking on newly planted seed beds (and squashing little seedlings!) Walking on the little stepping stones is a fun large-motor activity as well, since it helps little ones develop a sense of balance and coordination!

Hauling with a wheelbarrow is one of those "real life" activities that children LOVE! And, once again, there is the aspect of working together in a team: "cooperation makes it happen..."

Then, of course, there's the digging. And, we all know that children love digging in the dirt! Digging can be a year long gardening activity, especially if one area of the garden is left "fallow" so that children can always dig there. 

February is a good time for preparing the soil, too. We added manure to our garden beds and so then the children needed to wear special gardening shoes or boots. That way their play shoes won't get soiled. This is a great learning activity as well (left foot  and right foot!) If manure is not acceptable in your school's garden, then bags of compost can be bought at the local garden store (or Home Depot again!) Then, the children can dig these additives into the soil for weeks!

And, before you know it---the children will be starting the first seeds in the little beds they have created in their little garden.

Watch for my next Outdoor Classroom post about planting delightful little kid-friendly garden beds!

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