Gardening Activities for Kids

Wondering how to raise your kids as nature lovers? Then, the best way is to introduce them to gardening. Scroll down for some easy gardening activities for your little ones.\

Gardening is indeed one of the most interesting activities for many and growing plants is the best way to interact with nature. Being a gardener myself, I enjoy the sheer pleasure of watching the sprouting seeds, growing shoots, blooms and fruits. Love for nature is something that I developed at a very young age. But, nowadays, kids like spending time on gadgets and gizmos, rather than watching plants, birds or bugs. There are only a few, who are interested in understanding nature. While some parents love gardening, they forget to involve their kids in this wonderful activity. In some cases, the kids themselves do not find it interesting. If you want to awaken the nature lover in your kid, introducing them to gardening (that too at a young age) is one of the best ways.

Introducing Kids to Gardening

Kids are found to have an innate interest in nature. They love chasing butterflies and playing in mud or water. They like touching worms and bugs. If your kid belongs to this category, you can easily introduce him/her to gardening. For others, you have to identify their area of interest, before forcing them to grow plants. Some may love watching bugs and worms, while others love flowers. You have to engage them in activities, which allow them to follow their interests. Try to make the activity interesting and fun-filled, as kids tend to get bored easily.

If your kid loves flowers, let him/her identify different types of flowers and their smell. Tell them about how plants grow and produce blooms and fruits. If the kid is found to be interested in a particular plant, you can grow that in your garden. Ask the kid to plant the seeds or water the soil. He/she will be enthusiastic to find the seed sprout, grow and bloom. This method is useful for those with kids in the age group of four to six. For older ones, you can assign a patch of soil for gardening. Let them grow flowers and vegetables of their choice. Supervise their work and help them. You may also ask them to present their products in local fairs.

You can introduce younger kids to gardening, but in a different way. Explain to them about the different types of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables and how they grow in soil. Live examples are always better (choose those plants that grow fast). Let the kid watch, as you sow seeds, grow plants, remove weeds and feed them. This will help him/her to develop a bond with nature, at a very young age.

Fun-filled Gardening Activities for Kids

We all know that kids love fun-filled activities and anything that is monotonous, can be boring for them. So, make gardening a fun activity for them. Parents must plan the activities and join the kids for the same. The following are some tips about how to make gardening more interesting for kids.

  • To start with, allow your kid to roam around and explore the garden. You may also take the kid to places with natural surroundings. Collect different types of leaves and flowers and let the kids feel their texture and smell. Allow them to inspect different types of insects and worms.
  • For smaller kids, you may come up with activities like painting pots that are meant for plants. You may also allow them to collect differently shaped containers that can be used for this purpose. It could be anything from a discarded pair of shoes to an old can.
  • If you are searching for some fun-filled gardening activities for kids, try to make a watering can with old plastic bottles or containers. All you have to do is to make some holes on the lid of the bottle and a single hole (somewhere near the handle or top for air movement). Let your kid enjoy watering plants with the newly made watering can.
  • If you have space constraints, then get a good quality kids’ gardening kit and make your child grow some plants. These kits come with all the required materials for gardening, and so, are excellent for kids, especially the younger ones.
  • If you are ready to invest some time, then try to grow a playhouse (along with your kids) with plants like sunflower. You may also plant some cucumber or pole beans in between. Watermelon is also not a bad choice for this purpose. Kids will enjoy growing such a playhouse that could be a perfect spot for them to play and have fun.
  • Gardening activities for kids can be fun, if you allow them to grow plants in specific shapes. Allot them some soil or a patch of soil and some fast-growing seeds. Let the kids decide the shapes in which they want to grow the plants. It could be anything ranging from simple square or circle to alphabets. They can also use plants with colorful flowers. In that case, collect seeds of plants with flower colors matching with the seven shades in the rainbow and grow them in a semi-circular shape.
  • You may also plan a movable garden on wheels. Get a wagon planter and provide your kids with soil and bedding plants of their choice. Plants like ‘tickle me’ will be much more interesting for smaller kids. Even herbs, like peppermint and basil are good choices for their unique scent.
  • For older kids, you may get some special cultivars that they may enjoy growing. You may opt for cultivars like blue potato, yellow tomato, purple beans, etc. You may also choose plants with edible fruits and vegetables. Kids may enjoy harvesting and consuming the fresh veggies and fruits grown by them.
  • Growing a windowsill garden is one of the best winter gardening activities for kids. This is the best time for painting terracotta plant pots and other such gardening accessories. You may also help the kids to make a terrarium or a bird feeder. Vermicomposting can also be done during this time.

The above said are only a few guidelines about gardening with children. You may use them as per the age of your child and his/her temperament. However, make sure to monitor these activities and help them, if needed. This is more applicable for younger kids. It will be better to go for plants that grow fast and seeds that are large and easy-growing. Go for organic gardening and avoid chemicals in any form. Ensure that the kids keep the work area clean and wash their hands with soap, once they finish their daily work in the garden. Never fail to encourage them for their efforts.

You may find a thousand other ways to make gardening fun-filled and interesting for your kids. Apart from instilling a love for nature, gardening helps kids to recognize the value of fresh fruits and vegetables. It can also be viewed as a form of exercise for kids, who would otherwise spend time watching television or sitting in front of a computer. So, let loose your creativity and come up with some unique gardening ideas that your kids will enjoy.

Tips to Start a School Newspaper

Clueless about ways to start a newspaper in your school? All it needs is a basic knowledge of journalism. If you are still wondering, then here are some helpful ideas.

School newspapers are a brilliant way for giving exposure to special talents of students. They are considered to be one of the best medium of teaching young minds about various issues in the society. They create a sense of achievement in the minds of the students and are a matter of pride for parents and teachers alike. They help students hone their talent in writing, creativity, leadership and management skills at a very young age. School newspapers have the art of discovering new talents out of the most unlikely students. So dear is the idea of viewing one’s name in print on school newspapers, that many grownups carefully maintain their copies as keepsakes all their lives. Here are some easy ideas to show you how to start a school newspaper.

Teacher’s Initiative
The school management and teachers first need to decide whether the paper will be common for the entire school or separate for each grade. It is up to the teachers to find the right talent to run the school newspaper. An ideal arrangement is to appoint a students’ newspaper committee with a teacher volunteering as its guide.

The Student’s Newspaper Committee
Remember, school newspapers are supposed to be ‘Of the students, By the students and For the students’. The committee of the ‘little journalists’ should ideally involve a student with excellent writing and editing skills to act as the editor, along with a team of 3 or 4 other writers to regularly contribute with their articles. Students outside the committee might also be given a chance to make their contributions in the form of short stories, essays, poems, jokes, paintings, etc. It would be advisable to elect a new committee annually or biannually in order to give a fair chance to all the students.

Arranging for Capital
Capital is a crucial part for starting any new venture. The initial capital required for starting of school newspaper is usually raised by the school authorities. The other option is to involve the students and parents, by asking them to pay an annual subscription fee for their school newspaper copies. The school authorities may also publicly invite sponsorship for starting a school newspaper. Nowadays, school authorities encourage entrepreneurs who trade in products made for children such as kids wear, books, toys and games, stationery and study material, etc., to place their advertisements in the newspaper. This is considered to be the most ideal method for raising finance, since it is profitable for the school and it consequently reduces subscription fee that is to be borne by students.

Frequency of Newspaper
Its common to publish a monthly issues of school newspapers. The committee may be allowed to select any other duration if it wishes to. However, teachers and committee members need to ensure that publishing schedule are followed.

Formatting the Newspaper
Selection of an ideal name for the school newspaper is the very first step at this stage. Teachers may guide the committee in creating a particular format and encourage them to improvise whenever required. School newspapers usually contain an Editorial, along with news articles on current issues, school news and announcements, activity schedule for sports, quiz competitions and PTA meetings, columns for personal contributions towards jokes, puzzles, poems, paintings, photography and so on.

Publishing the Newspaper
Schools may publish their newspapers by putting them up for viewing in students’ common rooms or classrooms. At other times, hard copies of the newspaper are distributed to all the students or mailed directly to students’ residences.

Nowadays, many schools publish their newspapers online. However, some district and county laws prohibit publishing the names of students online for security reasons. At times, district laws state that schools need to obtain a written and signed permission from parents to publish the names of their wards on online newspapers.

Now, does starting of a school newspaper still seem like a challenge to you? It’s a fun filled journey for teachers and students alike who get to build many a memory lane together.

Fun Memory Games for Children

Engaging children in games and activities where they get to improve their memory skills and concentration is a wonderful and positive action towards their future. These games are full of fun and perfect not only for the children, but for adults as well. They can be a perfect recreation activity that has a little bit of educational undertone. You can use playing cards, puzzles, or toys for playing such games.

Fun Games for Children

Some of the most common games include memory test, concentration, Chinese whispers, word associations, mismatches, and communication; and that’s what we will do here today. For the purpose of this article, we have compiled some interesting and thought-provoking games for everyone to take part in.

Concentrate, Like There’s No Tomorrow
You can play the concentration game using a deck of 52 playing cards. Match up the pairs by memorizing the location of each card.

Let’s Test Your Memory
The memory test can be played with a single child or a group of kids using a pen and a paper. Arrange a tray with a selection of 5 – 20 common objects, such as pencil, key, spoon, button, coin, etc. Cover this tray with a cloth before you bring it in the room. Let the kids have a view of the objects for 1 – 2 minutes and then cover it again. Ask the children to write down the list of objects that they have seen. A child writing the longest list from his/her memory is declared winner of the game. When you are playing individually, you can change the game by removing one object and asking the child to identify which object is removed.

Chinese Whispers
The kids are asked to sit in a line or a circle so that they can whisper a word or phrase to the person sitting next to them. The first player is given a short phrase that he/she whispers to the neighbor in a low voice. The neighbor then passes the message through the whispers. The game continues until the message is announced by the last player. The message received by the final player is often quite different from the original message. This game has no objective and no winner. It offers a good exercise to judge the memory, listening capacity, and power of gossip.

Exchange of Associated Words
Word association is somewhat similar to Chinese Whispers, but spoken aloud. The children are asked to sit in a circle. The first child starts by saying any sentence in the story. The next child repeats the sentence and adds some information to that sentence. In this way, the kids continue to remember the previous sentences and build up a story with their additions. This game can be altered by working through the matching items or alphabets to the first letter to each child’s name. This game not only improves the memory, but also encourages the child to be creative in story-telling.

Mismatched Objects
Divide a small group of kids into two teams. One team goes out of room, while the other team does the mismatching by changing the objects in that room. After 3 minutes, the first team is allowed to enter the room. They are given one minute to spot the mismatches. The points are given on the basis of identification of mismatches. The team having the highest score is declared the winner.

Communication is Key
You can choose to play this game indoors or outdoors. It tests their listening and communicating skills. The children are given a plastic container, filled with exactly the same Lego blocks. They are allowed to sit back-to-back; one is named a caller and the other is a listener. The caller explains the listener about how to put together the pieces. The listener makes sure about what he/she has understood. Once all the pieces have been used, the caller and the listener compare the structures to confirm about their communication. This game can also be played with felt and felt board, or paper and pen.

Memory games offer an opportunity to exercise their brains and help to improve their memory as well as their language and concentration skills.

Art Activities for Young Children

Art activities help children enhance their creativity and give them some change from their daily routine. The willingness to learn is very high in kids, as they are very excited to see new and interesting things. Many schools have made the participation in these activities compulsory and grades are given as per their performance. Here’s a look into some interesting ones that they can engage in.

Painting and Sketching
Painting and sketching are the best art activities for your little ones. There are many kids who are exceptionally brilliant in them. They can never be forgotten once learned with sincerity and interest. You need not spend a huge amount of money to learn them. Children should take part in inter-school competitions and also other major competitions to get a platform to display their unique skills. They should try to win the competition by doing their job with full spirit and high level of energy. Parents of talented artists and painters should consider the idea of organizing an exhibition, to encourage the child to take up the profession more sincerely and also to earn some money from the sold paintings. Sculpting is one of the most unique kid crafts which is loved by many kids.

Singing, Dancing and Theater
These are very popular activities for young children. Your child can join a coaching class to get himself/herself acquainted with these forms of arts. Getting their basics right is important so that they do not face any problems in learning the advanced concepts in the chosen field. Even if your child joins a coaching class, his/her progress in developing the skills will largely be influenced by his/her way of perceiving things, dedication, and will power to emerge victorious by beating all the odds and difficulties. Starting early always helps as one can improvise on the mistakes done and try not to repeat them again, as this is the only way of surviving in the tough competitive world. There are innumerable famous and genius singers and musicians who had taken up music as their career, quite early in their lives. These forms of arts can be practiced and taken up by both- girls and boys as there is no gender bias here. If your child has good emoting skills, he/she can also take part in different theater workshops and plays.

Some More Art Activities for Kids
Decorating rooms, preparing attractive and colorful greeting cards, scrap-booking, preparing nice paper and cardboard items are some more art activities for young children. You can do them with a group of children so that you get some good company and finish your task faster. Some kids can practice photography under the able guidance of an expert photographer. You can make Christmas gifts like Santa hats, packing gifts, etc.

The above-mentioned activities will make your child very smart and confident. As a parent, you should avoid forcing your child to take up arts and crafts of your choice and give him/her complete freedom to do what he likes.