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Your 7-year-old now
With its combo of physical activity and dirt, gardening often captures the imagination of young elementary schoolers. At this age, most kids are more interested in process than product. Still, they do enjoy the feeling of accomplishment they get from nurturing something from seed to plant. If you plant vegetables, your veggie-hater might even be inspired to have a munch!
Even if you don't have a large plot of land to dig, you can still put your child in touch with the marvels of nature. All it takes is some dirt, seeds, sunshine, water, and time together. Some pots on a sunny porch, balcony, patio, or windowsill can be just as educational as a half-acre on a farm. Here's how:
- Pick seeds together from a catalog or store.
- Let your child make plant markers out of Popsicle sticks and seed packets or hand-drawn signs.
- Decide together what you'll plant where.
- Demonstrate how deep to plant the seeds after having your child read the instructions on the packet.
- Water and weed together, pointing out the plants' progress as the weeks go by.
Your life now
When you're interrupted yet again with complaints of "I can't sleep," suggest that your child try these fun versions of "counting sheep":
- Review the day. In your mind, think of everything you did all day in order, like a movie.
- Pick your ten favorite memories of all time.
- Think up as many words as you can that rhyme with "cat" or "day."
- Quietly hum all the songs you can think of.
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