Children in the Garden

Where can I find ideas to use with 9 year olds, in a classroom, to foster the love of gardening? I have lots of ideas for Spring and Fall, but winter is a problem Carolyn
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Are you planning on finding an outdoor plot for them to plant? If so, you can get them cranked up in January by choosing seeds from a good online catalog like www.burpee.com, and starting some of the seeds indoors. If you don't have a window facing South, maybe you can rig up a fluorescent fixture over some trays on a counter. And, even without an outdoor plot, perhaps you could have them plant something rugged that they can take home, like marigolds. Beans are the all-time favorite in classrooms because they're big & fat, both in seed and grown form. But, some parents may not want a bean plant at home.

winter
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We have an established, bird - butterfly garden. So they will be feeding birds all winter. It is almost impossible to plant annuals since the garden is not tended mid June - late August.

foster
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I agree, some parents don't want bean plants in their home but I can't think of anyone who doesn't want fresh basil in winter. Mint and lemon balms are good too, most kids do a double take when they smell these for the first time. Christmas pepper (get edible ones) and sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) are impressive too. You can also make a sprout kit for lentils and alfalfa.
Don't forget vegetative propagation: african violet leaf, potato, garlic, hens & chicks, etc. If you're really daring, you can start a vermicomposter. :)
Here's some sites:
http://www.kidsgardening.com / http://www.bry-backmanor.org/gardenfun / http://www.global-garden.com.au/gardenkids.htm http://www.growingedge.com/kids / http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/firstgarden / http://yucky.kids.discovery.com/noflash/worm /
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Thanks, I had thought about annuals, but herbs are a MUCH better idea! Carolyn

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winter
Where are you?
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Hope you'll be celebrating!
http://www.kitchengardeners.org/kitchengardenday.html
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. Time constraints are another big problem. We live in a huge school district and "time on task" is closely monitored, so I'm trying to fit activities into the student's regular curriculum. Carolyn

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1. Grow coleus or other indoor plants from cuttings. 2. Start sweet potato vines in water. 3. Start grapefruit seeds, avocado pits, mangoes, any thing that is edible, save the seeds and see if they wil grow. Make a collection of tree seeds, and start them. 4. Grow a carrot top forest, from the top 2 inch end of a carrot. Just put in shallow water in a saucer 5. Learn about types of soils. 6. Learn about composting. 7. Grow wheat or other grasses in pots. 8. Do an experiment with potted bean plants by putting one in sunlight, one in the dark, one in a cold place, one in warm to see what plants need to grow. Do this with seeds also to see what a seed neesd to germinate. 9. Force bulbs in containers. 10. Learn the parts of a plant, parts of a leaf, parts of a flower. A Botany book will give you the terms, and good diagrams. Use real plants as well as diagrams 11.Look at bark and twigs with dormant buds of winter trees and learn to identify them by these characteristics. Force some spring blooming shrubs like forsythia into bloom. 12. Put a celery stalk in water that has been colored with dye. Watch the color rise up in the stalk. How did it do that? 13. Soak lima beans in water. Carefully remove the outer skin,(seed coat) and then separate the two parts of the seed (cotyledons). Inside you will find the tiny embryo plant complete with root, stem, and tiny leaves. Kids love this and find it truly amazing. I do too!
I may think of more.......... Emilie NorCal
dark, one in a cold place, one in warm etc to discover what plants need to grow. 9. 8. Force bulbs in a container. 9. 9.
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Wow! Thanks for your input. I hadn't considered using cuttings. I have printed your wonderful list!

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Try this site: http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Children/projects.htm sed5555
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On 8/26/04 3:58 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com, "Carolyn

Have you seen Sharon Lovejoy's book?
How about forcing some bulbs? Cheryl
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They can care for house plants they planted in the fall.
They can enjoy winter flowers such as witch hazel and hellebores. (Caution: hellebores are very poisonous to children)
They can force Paper White Narcissus or Amaryllis Bulbs.
They can dry flowers collected in the fall.
They can enjoy plants with berries in the winter like holly.
They can plant seeds they bring from home from foods they eat.
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