Sing a song of flowers, flowers all around.
Flowers that are growing, growing in the ground.
Flowers of each colour make a pretty view.
Red, orange, yellow,
Blue and purple, too.
In the tune of (Sing a Song of Sixpence)
This beautiful poem came home from my daughter’s pre-school. The ‘not-so-melodious’ singing by my kids sparked off the conversation about plants and their need on the planet. I thought this went wonderfully well with the flavour of World Environment Day.
In harmony with the same value that the school was attempting to inculcate, my daughter and I sat last evening with our own wonderful DIY Planter.
What’s better is we up-scaled an otherwise quite forgotten dump-truck to serve as the planter. Great space, great looks and great re-use of available resources!
Here’s how we made this into a great learning experience:
1. My toddler started transferring all the soil from the container that stored it into the dump - truck.
She displayed high concentration levels and gross motor skills at this point. This also seemed to be a good time to learn about ‘plant’ information that is age relevant.
2. We then put in some little ‘easy to grow-no fuss-required plants into the soil.’ We had collected some teeny-weeny plants form my mom’s succulent garden in the morning.
I say 'little' because the planter is not a big pot and we certainly don’t want the dump-truck to be dwarfed by the size of the plant. She watered it and declared it ‘Done!’
What I loved at this point was that there was great sensory perception at play. The texture of the soil, the softness of plants, the vibrancy of colours - were just fantastic for her sensory exploration.
Hollowing out the earth to make place for the plants and lowering the plants in was an extremely gentle display of fine motor skills.
3. My son walked in at just this moment to place his ‘Lego’ workers onto the truck! Beep! Beep! He is a huge fan of Digger’s Go and I can foresee a fight between the brother and sister over whose room this planter will go into!
For the slightly older kids, this works as a great thematic lesson on plants. You could use this wonderful planter to plant seeds and watch them grow. Inquire into where plants get nutrition from, importance of sunlight in their growth, need for water, healthy soil and nurturing.
Happy Gardening with your kids!