In honor of the first day of summer, we are digging into the art of gardening! Gardens can be a great educational tool for any age! The benefits of being outside, growing your own food and flowers while spending quality time with your children, grandchildren or community are huge!
It’s no secret that kids love to be messy and make things messy. Gardening is a time that they can harness that messy wildness while also creating something beautiful to enjoy! With a sensory garden, the focus is placed on the 5 senses of touch, scent, sight, taste and sound.
As you plan your sensory garden, think B-I-G or small! The main aspect of this project is to ENJOY each other and grow together.
Here are a few ideas for your sensory garden
Think soft grasses, digging into rich soil, smooth and rough rocks to make pathways, mulch and the different textures of seeds. (Also, all the fun little bugs and friends you'll find whilst digging!!)
This one can be really fun because it include so much! Herbs are great for scent, for instance, lavender, thyme, rosemary and basil. Lemongrass can be multifunctional as a soft grass texture, scent and taste! Also, jasmine is one of my personal favorites!
Sight: Colorful wildflowers, green ferns and bright sunflowers are great ideas for using sight in your garden. Aside from obvious use of color, bird-feeders, bird bathes and butterfly attracting plants all bring in fun critters to watch in the garden.
Edible plants and flowers can range from what we know as weeds to those tasty summer staples like tomatoes and peppers! Lettuces, mint, eggplant, potatoes, cucumber and peas are colorful and edible to add to gardens as well!
I recently started a sensory garden with a toddler and she has been having so much fun! We have tomato and pepper plants on the porch while also trying out an earth box with a fall crop of lettuce seeds planted. We planted two rows of sunflowers along the fence near her play area as well as peas and beans that can vine up the railings. We also planted lemon grass and lavender for scent as well as adding to cooking. We scattered wildflower seeds in a section of the yard as a colorful experimental meadow. She had a lot of fun placing seeds in the rows and using the trowel to help dig and cover.
Have you tried planting or gardening with children? What tips do you have?