Sunday, 27 February 2011

Indoor Gardening!


I love seeing the signs Spring rapidly appearing around our garden & Minnie has had great fun spotting them as she plays outside. Yesterday was such a cold, windy wet day we thought we'd do some gardening inside, so I found a large seed tray (with no holes in the bottom) & added some compost. Then we collected some small flowerpots, a small seed tray, & our gardening tools. Last year Minnie was given a great gardening set which came from the Early Learning Centre. The set is strong & sturdy, easy to clean, great for gardening or exploring a sandpit (which Minnie has discovered) & all comes in a handy carry case.

First Minnie planted a primrose in her chosen 'cup & saucer' plant pot. By adding the compost to a large seed tray Minnie was able to independently fill the pot & plant up her primrose. I should add here that I had covered the floor around the table with a sheet of plastic to catch any stray soil!




Minnie loved planting, especially adding the water at the end!
We then set about planting our seeds. Last year we grew a selection of fruit & vegetables from seed, & it was wonderful for Minnie to be hands on at the beginning of the process & eating the goodies at the end. To watch her collect organic food from our garden & eat it was just a fantastic! We grew our fruit & veg in trugs, large plant pots & hanging baskets, but started the seedlings off on a windowsill inside.

We planted these tomato plants just 3 weeks ago!
This year we're planning to grow vegetables, fruit & salad again, but starting off by just planting a few things as we have limited windowsill space indoors. Minnie has just planted peas, tomatoes, pepper seeds, along with a few calendula (Marigold) seeds.



As these are going to take some time to grow, we planted some wheatgrass which grows within days... perfect for eager toddlers! ;-) We've grown cress before, but this is the first time we've tried growing wheatgrass.

We filled our seed tray with compost...


Sometimes hands are better than a trowel
 Added our seeds...


And then watered the soil.


Minnie is excitedly watching the seeds grow & change every day, after only three days roots & long shoots have grown. We're hoping they'll end up looking something a little like this...


We had a little compost left in the seed tray & Minnie had fun pouring, scooping, patting, & sprinkling the compost around the tray & remaining plant pots. She then added a little water from her wateringcan & made some mud! I am quickly discovering this is a mixture my daughter loves!! She continued her mud play making mini mud pies & mud castles using the flowerpots, & loved squishing the mixture between her fingers.




This was a great activity for a cold wet day, but we can't wait to get outside again & start planting & sorting our garden ready for Spring!

A fun indoor activity for encouraging knowledge & understanding of the world, fine motor skills, creativity, & environmental awareness.



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