4 Steps To Get Your Bay Area Preschool Student Gardening
Now the Bay Area is feeling the impact of Spring, our nights are staying brighter for longer.
This gives parents of preschoolers in the Bay Area a chance to get outside with their little one and spend more time outdoors.
But coming up with ideas that encourage fun and learning can be challenging. It’s even harder if you want to focus on STEM or STEAM subjects.
This is where Kids Konnect comes in.
With our play-based curriculum, we often run classes outside and encourage our students to mess around in the garden, planting flowers or vegetables and or do some waterplay.
One of our favorite play-based activities is gardening.
Why does Kids Konnect love gardening for preschool children?
Gardening is incredibly joyful. It teaches children about plant life cycles, germination and our ecosystems. It’s science and learning in disguise!
So whether you’re planting some flowers or helping a plant grow from the beginning of its life, you are teaching your little one valuable skills and imparting lots of wisdom about nature.
Part of the enjoyment of gardening is helping something beautiful grow and caring for another living thing.
Gardening also needs patience as growing a plant can’t be completed in a day. This means you can return to the activity throughout spring and summer to check how your plant is thriving.
One benefit of gardening that we also love is that you don’t need outdoor space to grow a plant. You can grow a plant on a windowsill or balcony too.
Playing outside also has some great benefits for your little one including fine and gross motor skill improvements, higher self-esteem and increased confidence.
So, how do you start planting with your preschooler?
Step 1: Choose what you want to grow?
Give your little one some options and get them to decide what they want to grow. Do they want to grow some vegetables for their dinner? Or some fruit to eat at lunch? Or do they want to look at a nice sunflower?
Once they have decided, it is time to get planting,
What fruit or vegetables should you grow?
As the Bay Area is in the northern hemisphere, most of the usual spring/summer plants will thrive.
However, some parts of the Bay Area are notoriously foggy and we have to deal with microclimates. If you live in a foggy area, you will need to think about this when you choose what to grow.
What Kids Konnect Bay Area preschools are in foggy or sunny areas?
San Mateo – Bunker Hill & Downtown
We recommend growing plants suitable for fog and whose seeds are readily available at local garden centers.
Our families in Pacifica should grow the following fruit and vegetables during spring:
Our families in San Mateo and San Leandro should grow:
→ SF Bay Gardening has some great growing and planting resources available for download.
If you buy seeds from your local garden center, we recommend following the instructions on the back of the packet.
What if you live in an apartment?
If you live in an apartment, you can still grow amazing plants and vegetables. All you need is a sunny windowsill.
You can grow lettuce and remove the leaves throughout the summer for your tasty salads. Or grow some amazing sunflowers in a window box.
Step 2: Get the right tools and materials
You don’t need to break the bank to start planting. But you will need the following: compost, soil and a plant pot.
Make a plant pot out of newspaper crafting activity
An affordable, eco-friendly and fun crafting activity to do with your little one is to create a plant pot out of newspaper.
To do this, you need the following:
A used can of food
Here’s the method:
Cut out six strips of newspaper that are wide enough to fold halfway across the base of the can.
Layer the six strips on top of each other and around the can
Wrap tightly to create firm pots
Fold the overhanging newspaper over the base so there are no gaps for the compost to fall through
Create a crease to hold the paper rigid and press firmly onto a flat surface for about 30 seconds
Slide the can out of the paper
Place the paper onto a tray and fill with compost
Plant your seed
You can also make a propagator with a left over egg carton.
Step 3: Plant your seed
Make a small well in the middle of your soil.
Place your seed into the well.
Water and wait.
Step 4: Make a watering schedule for your little one
Your little one needs to feel responsible for the plant’s life. You should arrange a watering schedule so that they know when they need to water their plant. This is important during the drier summer months.
Encourage them to water their plant before they go to Kids Konnect and when they get back home.
It might take a month for your plant to grow so this will need time and patience. During this time they will learn all about a plant’s life cycle and watch it grow from seed to flower.
→Book a tour of Kids Konnect
Being outside and tending to our garden spaces is a major part of the Kids Konnect play-based curriculum during spring and summer. We make STEM learning fun and encourage children to take part in activities that prepare them for elementary school.
If you are a parent in the Bay Area, why not take a tour of one of our Bay Area preschools today.