Lockdown Day 46 – Gardening
Activities of Everyday Living
The activities of everyday living (practical life) curriculum area is generally split into three areas: activities that promote the development and refinement of manipulative skills, activities that promote care of self, and those that promote care of the environment.
Today’s suggested activity combines care of the environment with care of self. As always, there are many other cross-curricular learning opportunities.
* PLANTING VEGETABLES *
Montessori felt that every 3-6-year-old child should have at least one plant to look after. She believed that this would teach the child responsibility, empathy, and that it would open the child’s mind to her/his cosmic task.
Engaging children in the task of planting healthy foods also gives the child the opportunity in seeing how plants grow and provides great joy in harvesting the fruits of their labour, so to speak. This has the added benefit of the child being more likely to want to eat what they have grown too!
Whilst nurseries have opened again, and you could go out and buy some seedlings to plant (indoor or outdoor), it is also fun to start with the actual fruit or vegetable to see what you can grow. This is also a good lesson in the life cycle of plants, and a consideration of the effects of sun and water on the growth of plants.
You add language and maths learning opportunities to this activity as well by teaching the children the names of the parts of the plant, and by getting the children to measure and keep track of the growth of the plant every day.
Cut the tops off the carrots, leaving 2 cm. Push the end of the cannot into the soil with the stem side up. Water. Within one week the leaves will start to grow. You will not grow new carrots, but the leaves can be eaten in a salad.
Cut the bottom end of the lettuce off and plant this in the soil with the bottom end down and the cut off leaves exposed. Water. Within days, the leaves will regrow and can be eaten.
Slice the tomato and place the slices onto the soil. Cover with more soil. Water. Within a week the seeds will sprout and new tomato bushes will grow.
Pull individual kernels off the cob and plant them. Water.
Cut the pepper in half lengthways. Use your finger to dislodge the seeds. Fill the pepper with soil and plant it in a pot or in the garden. Water.