Want to share your love for nature and plants with children this winter? Here are five activities to spark curiosity, teach and amuse.
Adopt an insect-eating plant. The Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is fascinating to watch as it traps spiders and insects for its meals. This animation explains the process.
Start a worm farm. It’s a fun way to learn about the composting process and add to the garden later in the year. All that’s needed is a plastic lined or wood box with a lid, vegetable scraps, shredded newspaper and a few red wriggler worms. Kept moist and cool, the worms will get to work making valuable compost. Find full instructions here.
Plant a terrarium or fairy garden. Assemble a collection of small plants in an open-topped container or create an imaginative, kid-friendly scene with structures and characters – perhaps a park for superheroes or dinosaurs! Children love to play in the dirt, so this makes for great hands-on learning of planting basics. Stick to easy to grow, petite plants and add a bottom layer of pebbles if using containers without drainage holes.
Feed the birds. Gather some pine cones and tie a string to the top of each, slather with peanut butter, then roll in bird seed. Hang in a nearby tree and watch the feast begin.
Sprout an avocado pit. Stick the perimeter of an avocado seed with toothpicks and suspend it, rounded side down in a glass of water. Watch for roots followed by a green shoot. Avocado is a fast growing plant and will soon need to be transplanted into soil.
What nature activities do you do with children?
Images: Bing Images (Royalty Free)
Written by: Linda McDonnell, a Denver County Master Gardener