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Gardening with Your Preschooler

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Have you found a summer camp program for your child yet? A high-quality summer camp often has an outdoor classroom or garden. Gardening allows your child to learn about biology through fun, hands-on experiences. Here are a few ways that you can get your child interested in gardening at home.
• With your child, start off by researching which plants will develop best in your area. Let him choose which plants he would like to see grow right in his backyard. Then take a trip with him to purchase the necessary seeds and tools.
• If you want to have a more advanced garden, keeping in mind age appropriateness, help your child plant vegetables. It will be rewarding to eat the vegetables that you and your child have helped grow.
• Talk with your child about the changes and patterns she notices as the plants begin to grow, and ask her to predict what will happen in the future.
• Discuss the different kinds of bugs that she sees in the garden. Determine if certain bugs are beneficial or harmful to the garden and why.
• Ask your child to draw pictures of what he observes happening in the garden and help him write down what he sees.
• Keep track of how tall the plants are, and ask your child to use her math and ruler skills to determine how much each plant has grown each week.
• As your preschooler “digs deeper” into gardening he will retain lasting memories of what he has learned.