I friend of ours Michelle posed the question over on the message board asking for ideas to use for teaching an after school gardening class for Kindergarten through 6th grade. The class would be for 1.5 hours once a week. She has asked for some ideas on things they could do.
So here is where we all come in. I will throw out some ideas and would love it if you could too…I think together we can think of some things that may just get some kids interested in gardening! This could be the perfect way to start out the new year/decade by recruiting the next generation of gardeners!
When I was an active WSU Master Gardener (before I couldn’t keep up with volunteer hours due to having babies) I specialized in children’s gardens for the county extension. I would go around and talk to parents groups and help set up gardens at elementary schools. By far and away the favorite thing I demonstrated and helped promote was worm boxes.
Setting up a worm box is easy, it requires only a container, bedding, food, and of course worms! Here are a few of the things that you could do with a group of kids with a worm box…
- Set up the box including shredding the paper and gather food such as kitchen veggie scraps
- Measure worms and chart sizes
- Observe worms with magnifying glasses or microscopes
- Observe and then draw worms with the older kids labeling the parts of a worm
- Discussing the role of worms in the garden
- Charting each week how much the worms eat
- Discuss the role of soil in the garden emphasizing the importance of organic practices for the sake of beneficial helpers including the worms
If anyone wants a great book on vermicomposting it is ‘Worms Eat My Garbage’, both the original book and the classroom activities book which is packed with fun ideas for working with kids and worms!
Now it is your turn…what are some ideas that you might have for working with kids to get them excited to get out and garden later in the spring?
Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she rasises organic fruits, veggies, critter, kids and…a camel!