Children explore the world around them as a part of their learning experience. As teachers we can present ideas and experiments to children about the wonders of plants through gardening. Children benefit from the hands on experience of working the soil and planting seeds. Large pots of tomatoes on a balcony or a begonia rooting on the counter are some of the ways to present gardening practices to children.
We have gathered some information that will be a starting point for parents and teachers attempting to educate the gardeners of the future. Here are some indoor activities to do with plants. The resources listed will direct you to additional educational information.
Visit the Aggie Horticulture page on School Gardens
HERE ARE SOME GREAT IDEAS FOR FUN ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH PLANTS.
You may need your mom or dad's help for some of the activities.
QUICK CARROTS - Plant some carrot seeds in egg cartons set in plastic gutter on window ledge.
PEANUT BUTTER & YAM - Start a yam in a plastic peanut butter jar. Change water frequently. Measure the growth of vine with flexible measuring tape. Plant in garden in spring and be prepared to have ten feet of space for it to grow. Dig yams in fall.
WORM'S VIEW - Make a root view box by cutting a side of a milk carton. Line with overhead acetate, fill with soil, and plant seeds close to side. Cover with black paper and take off to view.
PEAT PELLETS - Expandable peat pellets are amazing. Use to start seed or propagate begonias, coleus, spider plants...
ZIP-LOCK GARDEN - Start something unusual in a zip lock bag. Moisten paper towel with very clean hands and slide into zip lock bag. Add 3 seeds (beans, corn, raw peanut, cotton) Transfer to garden when it warms up outside.
RABBIT FOOD - Plant lettuce in any creative container. Looks great and is fun to nibble.
Supplies: gallon milk container, gallon sized plastic bag, two straws or pencils, potting soil, seeds or cuttings.Rinse the jug and cut off the bottom half with scissors. Poke 3 or 4 drain holes in the bottom and fill with soil.Plant seeds or cuttings and water them. Stick the straws or pencils into the soil and cover over loosely with the plastic bag.Place in a bright location but not direct sun because that will heat up the mini-greenhouse too much. The moist environment of the mini-greenhouse will help the seeds and cuttings grow.Begonias and African violets grow well using this technique.
Horticulture for Kids, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
National Junior Master Gardener Program
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