Children’s Corner

Kids being kids

How many people have similar photos? By the by, these two are not siblings but back then they could have been mistaken as such. Kids love to get dirty. Kids love to be in the thick of it. We need for our kids to continue this love for the outdoors. Aside from not wanting overweight teens or addicted to social media which in it self is an oxymoron. How can you be ‘social’ when you’re sitting alone in your bedroom with a screen of some sort as your only company?

This is not a ban all screens rant, not at all. This is getting our children to have a balanced ‘diet’ of screen, outdoor activities, sport and the arts. Sounds a bit tough, but not really.

There are many activities in the garden to get your little ones involved in. Simple weeding can start a love for gardening. Allowing kids to help planting. Go to a gardening Centre and let them pick our something to plant.

Start with Vegetables.  Growing a vegetable from seed or a seedling can flourish a kid’s independence and help with learning.  Watching a vegetable turn from a seed into a seedling, into a grown plant, nurturing it; watering it and then noticing changes. While we plant, we can talk about what we’re doing and other information. For those who know kids, know their discussions generally don’t start from A – Z, there are many roundabouts and turns!

Lets look at tomatoes, yes, technically they are fruit.  But lets have an engaging conversation about that. Why are they technically fruit but we wouldn’t be seen in a “Fruit salad”? They are botanically a fruit because they are produced by flowers and contain seeds.  Fun fact, it was in 1893, when they were classed as a vegetable because of how they were used in culinary practices. What other vegetables are botanically fruits? If you said any of the following, you would be correct.  As with tomatoes, if they are produced from a flower and contain seeds, they are botanically a fruit:

  • Cucumbers
  • pumpkins
  • zucchini
  • chickpeas
  • beans
  • peas
  • Corn
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • String beans
  • Any type of peppers – chili, capsicum etc.

Imagine chatting with your kids about having a dessert made out of string beans, because technically, they are fruit.  Again, these were all classed as vegetables in 1893 and taxed as such due to how they were used in the culinary world.

Imagine if they weren’t classed as vegetables and the first sorbet flavour had been zucchini?  Lets just thank goodness, that Brussel-sprouts have always been botanically vegetables.

What other things can be discussed while doing something?  Lets talk about poo.  Giggle, giggle,  Of course, this is a topic which will have howls of laughter but perhaps they can learn something at the same time.  What kind of poos help in the garden?  If we continue with our fruit and vegetables, while we plant our seedling, we can state that Chicken poo is great for garden, but it has to go through the compost first, as it could burn the pants off the plants! Its high in nitrogen. Horse poo also needs to go through the compost before adding to the garden because its so dense. Cow poo can be tilled direct into the soil.  This is smelly but great!  Its a great tonic for your plants!

Watering the vegetables in.  This is not hard.  We start with a liquid seaweed fertilizer and depending on the age of the child, this may need adult supervision.  However, after they get over the “stinky” smell, they will enjoy watering.  Especially at the moment, as we are the middle of Victorian (Australia) weather.  Every day, watering with the hose will include kids getting wet, but in 30+ degrees, does this really matter?  

Picking the vegetables and then eating them gives children purpose and comprehension of where our food comes from.  There are a million and 1 things to do with kids in the garden.  From Worm farms, to making bee hotels. constructing wicking beds, transplanting, mulching and even drawing plants.

So lets help our kids get exciting about gardens!  Start small, start with a seed!

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