Gardening with Young Children: Rainy Day Fun

Some days in the spring are just too wet for being out in the garden so here is an activity for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness. Using flyers or magazines, let kids cut out pictures of what they would like to grow in their gardens. They can glue the pictures to big pieces of paper and grow a garden on a page.

photo by Vanessa Kelly McRostie
photo by Vanessa Kelly McRostie

When any of us either work or play we have to know what information is important and what we can leave out. Paying attention is like 2 sides of a coin. One side is information we want and the other side is information that we have to ignore. For children to pay attention effectively they not only have to concentrate but they also have to ignore. As kids look through magazines and flyers, they will see more pictures than they want. They will have to pick out the things that can grow in the garden and not bother with the rest. For some children this is much easier to do than for others but a fun activity like this gives them a chance to practice and will help all children.

This activity will appeal to children in varying degrees from only a few moments and one or two pictures all the way to keeping them busy for most of the morning or afternoon. Explaining what they have put on the page also provides an opportunity for children to use lots of language. Hands and fingers get some exercise cutting and gluing. In addition to attention skills, kids also get the chance to make decisions and to think about what they would like in a garden.

Paying attention is very much like growing a garden; some things are great to pick, some need to be weeded out and some come up as surprises. What kind of paper garden will your child grow?

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