Sprout Seeds with a Child
On newsstands now, Backyard Solutions magazine features an article by me entitled, Sprouting Young Gardeners. But, you don’t have to think of yourself as a gardener to share the joy and excitement of planting seeds together. And, with the warming weather, now is the perfect time to sprout vegetable seeds.
Each Earth Day, a tradition of mine is to teach a whole school to plant pea seeds, seeing the plant and roots, learning about its life cycle (the pod grows from the flower!), and taste a fresh pea pod. You won’t believe the number of kids in this video of kindergartners who ask, “May I have another? I want another one!” when tasting the sweet peas.
The best thing about peas are teachers and kids can plant them as soon as the temperatures warm to 40 degrees Farenheit, so they are likely to be able to harvest peas before the school year ends.
In addition to sprouting peas, another must-do educational planting activity on my list for Spring is planting milkweed. By planting milkweed, which is native to North America and returns each year, you will be helping Monarch butterflies in their migration. In Summer, Monarchs will pass through your garden and lay eggs on Milkweed for their caterpillars to eat, and eat, and eat until they make their chrysalis and transform into butterflies just as the kids are making their way back to school. What a great lesson in the butterfly life cycle while creating a habitat at the same time.
Milkweed plants can be put in-ground Spring, Summer, and Fall. Plant milkweed seeds in fall to give the plants a period of cold temperatures required to sprout in Spring. See p.26 of my book, 15 Minutes Outside, to learn more.
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About Rebecca P. Cohen
Rebecca P. Cohen is a finalist for the 2012 Outdoor Inspiration Awards and the go-to spokesperson for gardening and outdoor activities any time of the year. Rebecca is author of the new book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks), which was named a ‘Best New Parenting Book’ by Scholastic Parent and Child (April 2011) and host of the television series, Get Out of the House, which shows fun ideas for time outside in every season. In addition, she appears on live morning news shows around the country on the how-to’s of gardening and outdoor lifestyle. Rebecca’s work has been featured in Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, Backyard Solutions, and Washingtonian magazines, as well as on Rachael Ray’s website, Yum-o!, SheKnows.com, and WorkingMother.com and in countless social media outlets. Rebecca is also a proud ambassador of the Seeds of Change Sowing Millions Project and has been featured as a spokesmom for the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement on PBS Wild Animal Baby. She has inspired thousands with her public appearances and community and school events, and motivates still more to follow their dreams and passions as the host of Wish It, Dream It, Do It! radio. For more information visit RebeccaPlants.com.
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