Although toddlers won’t grasp the idea of a plant life cycle yet, or how a single seed can grow into a full plant, toddlers do love the components of gardening, namely: water, dirt, and seeds. So today Veronika “planted” her first seed, partly as a sensory experience, and partly for a little science.
First I set out a little cup of dried beans for her to play with, simply to explore. She loved transferring these back and forth between two cups.
Using a little dirt from the yard outside, we began scooping dirt into one of the cups.
I filled our watering can with just a little water so she could make the dirt damp but not soaked. Of course I knew this would turn into lots of play scooping dirt and pouring water, and that’s exactly what happened. But that was half the fun! A little bug even hitchhiked its way in with the dirt, and she loved watching it on the tray.
Before she could tire of the game, I showed Veronika how to sprinkle a few of her bean seeds into the dirt, and press them in gently.
We gave them a little extra water as a finishing touch.
I don’t expect these to really sprout, since we didn’t germinate them properly). But the cup is in a sunny spot on our windowsill, and Veronika looks at it proudly! Either way, the whole process is a fantastic intro to gardening.
Note: If you want to include a little art, use a paper cup instead of a plastic one and have your toddler draw on it first. Or you could even decorate a proper clay pot!