A few weeks ago my grandson was doing fairy stories at nursery school and was fascinated by the fairy story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. He wanted to plant some seeds to grow his own beanstalk. As they live in the north of England it was then still a bit too chilly. Ordered from our store we were able to tell the story of how the seeds got to him and he was delighted when a pack of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ beans arrived through the post. These have recently been sown in recycled pots and lets hope we have a mild spring and early summer for them to get planted out in the garden.
It is a joy to see his enthusiasm as my memories were of being given a small area in the garden with a packet of mixed annuals and hating the weeding!
Target the interest
It does help to do activities suitable for interests and stages of development so the following is a smorgasbord of ideas that can be adapted for different stages and ages depending on your child.
At Easter most plants need to be started off indoors as in most of the UK there could still be frosts until the middle to end of May. Sowing too early indoors may be an issue for climbing beans getting tangled and becdoming difficult to plant out at the end of may.
- Sow seeds to suit what your child can handle - larger seeds such as peas and broad beans can be sown now. Wait until May to sow climbing french beans and runner beans, sunflowers and nasturtiums.
- Plan a plot with your child for older children include a budget element and see what’s cost effective seeds, plug plants or pots. Look for a them such as rainbow coloursor use a colour wheel to find complementary colours to engage their inner designer
- Sprouting potatoes can be grown in old compost bags. Ensure there are some drainage holes at the bottom. These can be ongoing interest as you will need to keep adding compost as the foliage grows to encourage more potatoes to grow and stop them going green.
- What do they like to eat? Sweetcorn - can be started off in empty toilet roll inners before transplanting.
- Microgreens - egg and cress sandwiches using recycled takeaway containers and cotton wool or layers of kitchen roll which will keep the cress cleaner than compost.
- If you have spring flowers available - cut and arrange for an Easter gift for grandparents and friends.
- Compare what a spring onion looks like and what a daffodil looks like so you don’t eat the poisonous one! This has been in the news recently. The same goes for daffodil bulbs and onions so encourage them to know their onions where the dangers in the garden are!
- Sow broad or runnerbeans on the outside edge of a jar wedged with paper or a toilet roll inner. Do a photo story every few days to see the changes.
- Check out if there are any miniature garden competitions or local shows your child could grow for. Get them planning or sowing to be able to fulfill the theme.
- Find unusual containers such as old shoes or leaky wellies and repurpose as planters. Decorate containers with stickers or paints to upcycle and personalise their planters.
- Do a comparison of seeds sown indoors and outside in situ. Sunflowers could be used for this.
On a final note I’m just hoping my grandson is not expecting his Grandad Jack to climb the beanstalk once it’s grown tall enough!