Introducing Little Ones to the Garden
What is it like to be in Pre-K? What is it like for everything to be new? Just a few years ago they knew nothing, literally nothing, but their world is expanding at a rate that would make our adult heads swim. The new information that they have processed in the last six months is probably more than the new information we have absorbed in the last six years. For them everything is new. It’s no wonder that “why?” pops up so often.
Last week the Pre-K classes were introduced to the garden. Where do you start? Try explaining to a four-year-old that their t-shirt is made from cloth, that is knitted from threads, that are spun from fiber, which comes from a pod, which is the fruit of a flower, that grows on a plant, that comes out of the ground, because someone planted a seed, that was pulled out of the fiber, from a plant that was grown last year. You can say all this while showing them a cotton plant that has white fluffy balls of cotton bursting from pods and all you will get is a quiet blank stare….. and then someone will see a butterfly, or a ladybug or a centipede and suddenly everyone’s excited. Sometimes its just best to say “Here’s the garden! What do you think?” Sometimes it’s best just to give them something to do. We planted seeds…. in little pots. It’s a rite of passage. Everyone should at some point in their formative years watch a seedling rise amazingly out of a clump of soil. Unfortunately too many children have watched tiny seedlings sprout up but then wither and bake miserably in the afternoon sun or drown in a flooded cup on the windowsill. Our plan is that in a week or two these students will take these zinnias and sunflowers and plant them in our garden. They will watch them grow strong and eventually bloom and when the butterflies show up, everyone will be excited. Hey… it’s a start.