Outdoor Classroom- May 2014

Outdoor Classroom

Aside from being a fun family activity, planting flowers with young children teaches them about how to care for living things.   As you work together to create something beautiful, planning out a garden and planting flowers with your little ones is a rewarding experience for everyone.  A flower garden can be planted in many different places, including a large pot, a small patch of dirt or throughout your entire backyard.  The amount of space you have does not matter as much as the time you spend with your children creating something in which you can all take pride.

Begin this project by visiting a local nursery or greenhouse to learn about what kinds of flowers will grow well in your location.  Talk with the employees to find out which plants grow well in shady or sunny spots so you can guide your children to choose flowers that will last.  Consider flowers that provide showy results such as sunflowers or petunias.  Allow each of your children to choose one or two varieties that they like.  Guide your children towards plants that produce many flowers or include several different colors in one pot, such as snapdragons, rose moss or cosmos.

 The next step is to prepare your pot or dirt patch for planting.  Fill the pot with potting soil or rake the dirt patch and remove any weeds or debris.  Mix potting soil into the dirt to provide a better growing environment for your flowers.  Use a trowel to dig a small hole.  Show your children how to place the flower into the hole.  Encourage them wear gardening gloves to protect their hands as they dig holes and plant their own flower choices.  Fill in the hole with potting soil or dirt. Demonstrate to your children how to gently pat the soil down around the root of the flower so it doesn’t tip over.

Finally, water the flowers together.  Use a watering can if your children have planted flowers in pots or a garden hose if the flowers are planted in a dirt patch.

Throughout the summer and into fall, enjoy the colorful flowers together!