By Leah Allen
This week, I write this article on behalf of parents: the unsung heroes. I dedicate this to the parents who were released from work and now home quarantined with their families; to the parents who are still working from home while trying to navigate Google Classroom; to the teachers, front line workers, doctors, and nurses who have children of their own.
I dedicate this article to you.
Our momentary norm has been a lot to adjust to and I’m positive we’re all doing better than we give ourselves credit for and rightfully we deserve a huge fist bump.
With that, April vacation is among us this week, apparently, so that means a little break from Google Classroom, class codes and Remind texts.
I want to feature some fun gardening-themed ideas you can start planning as big or small as you’d like with your kids during their spring vacation.
Of course planting a good old fashioned veggie garden with vegetables your family actually eats is always a winner. Let kids pick out seeds, teach them how to read seed packets (check out my article on how), help plant them, be in charge of watering, and watch them grow. Whatever comes of it, it’s still a success!
Create a Reading Garden for your child (or you) by designating a special outdoor nook under a shady tree or next to a garden with comfy seating, wind chimes, and some peace and quiet. (While we include Amazon links, make sure you check with the Wheeler Library and local book stores like Savoy and Bank Square Books.)
A Sweet Pea Teepee is a teepee structure with sweet peas planted at base of poles and left to grow up the structure covering the sides with foliage and flowers.
To create a Sunflower House, dig out U-shaped design, plant sunflower seeds, and watch them grow all summer long into a natural living fort.
Plant a Pizza Garden with tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil, and oregano.
Dinosaur Garden is super fun for kids. Include varieties of ferns, rocks, moss, and some toy dinosaurs.
A Fairy Garden is always a fun whimsical garden to create with small plants, miniature wooden furniture, and lots of magic.
A Rainbow Garden is a garden featuring fruits, flowers, and vegetables in all colors of the spectrum grouped together based upon color.
A Butterfly Garden can be achieved with grouping plants that are rich in nectar such as Joe Pye Weed, coneflowers, and asters, attracting several types of butterflies. Add some red flowers and you’ll get hummingbirds too.
Here are some additional books on gardening projects you can do with your children.
All of these themed gardens can be made large or small, simple or elaborate, grown in a container or raised beds. Just start with good soil, either top soil with amendments such as compost or peat moss or use bagged garden soil.
Remember that soil is available locally and most places will put it in your vehicle for a non-contact pick-up.
In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter what you plant or how successful your vegetable garden truly is, it’s the memories you’re creating with your children. Just remember to read those packets first.
If anything at all, when you think back to the Coronavirus Epidemic of 2020, you’ll recall fond memories of the time you planted “that garden.”
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.