I’m still thinking about spring and spring related things to do with kids. Now is a great time to start seeds. Marigolds and radishes are easy and fun with seeds big enough for even tiny fingers. When my kids were young, I would have them plant in eggshells. Then when it’s time to transplant outside, you can just crumble the bottom lightly, and the shells also help the soil. I always encouraged my kids to have their own little gardens. I never directed them much but gave help when asked. My daughter wasn’t much into it, but the boys loved it. I also taught them to weed at an early age. I would show them specific plants that weren’t welcome in the gardens and have them root them out. Kids love to have jobs to do. It makes them feel important and included. One time my husband at the time sent a passel of kids outside to pick dandelions. He offered a penny for each one. The truth is that he didn’t want to go out and mow the lawn and, although the grass was not terribly tall, the neighbors were starting to be upset about the dandelions.
With very young children, I like to pick a couple of flowers that I consistently point out so that they learn their names and can identify them on their own. Repetition is the best teacher for children. I pick a couple for each growing phase. Right now, it’s daffodils. They are everywhere and so brightly colored. They’re easy to spot. In a little while, the violets and the dandelions will come out, and I will teach them that they are edible. My rule with edible plants is, even if you’re sure you know what they are, you have to check with a grown-up first. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
There is so many plants just waking up right now. Go outside with your children and look for buds on the trees. Explain to them what will be happening and keep checking on them for those changes. Look up in the trees now, before the leaves come out, and see if you can find bird and squirrel nests. Smell the aromas around you, the damp dirt, the blossoms as they bloom, the freshness in the breeze. Listen to all the wonderful sounds, the birds, the frogs, the returning geese and the wind in the trees. Go for walks as often as you can, looking for changes. Those changes happen quickly this time of year.
The photo above is of one of my grandsons fishing in our vernal pool. It was a toy fishing pole with no hook or bait. I’m sure there were no fish in the pool anyway. He had a grand time, throwing the line into the water over and over again, not caring whether or not he caught anything. He was just enjoying the moment. That’s what spring is about for me, enjoying these brief moments to their fullest.