Why travel to the nearest museum or forest preserve to teach your child about the wonders of nature? Just go to your backyard. There, you can uncover the mysteries of decomposition, watch flowers explode in a symphony of color, or discover how worms feed the earth. Wondering how to get started? Check out these fun ideas for you and your family.
Little kids like little things, and your child will enjoy having his own small garden in a wagon. You can use flowers or vegetables to create this garden. Purchase a small mini wagon and drill a few holes into the bottom for drainage. Fill the wagon three-quarters of the way with soil. Let your child pick which flowers he'd like to plant in his garden. Pansies, lavender, zinnias, marigolds, and primrose are all good choices. Have your child water and maintain his garden. He can even take his wagon for a walk and show it to his friends.
Garden of Garbage
This garden will teach your child about dynamics of decomposition.
Use old wood to make a four-sided box. Place the box against a fence on a far side of the yard. Put some torn-up newspaper, manure, and dirt on the bottom, then start adding garbage, including fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, twigs, and grass clippings. Every few days stir it up, and in a few weeks you'll have fresh dirt for a new gardening project.
Make sure to let your child put her hands in the "garbage" to scoop up and smell nature at work.