Some of the most fruitful activities for children are those that involve nature. Whether hatching eggs in an incubator, discovering insects in the forest, inspecting water in a lake or just hiking through the wilderness, children are constantly fascinated by the world around them.
One way to teach and pass on a sense of accomplishment and one-ness with nature is to teach children how to plant flowers. Even if you don’t have a garden, flower planting can be accomplished in a little pot on the balcony or even one indoors — set up near a window or balcony for a little sunlight.
When picking your flowers, keep in mind that small children are impatient and are likely to lose interest in a flower that will take months to appear and even longer to bloom. Although sunflowers make for fantastic projects, know that a sunflower planted in April or May will probably not bloom before July or August.
“The fastest growing flowers are marigolds and geraniums,” says Abdelrahman, a gardener who works in 6th of October city. And it is likely your gardener or your local flower shop will have seeds. Once you have chosen a little pot or a window box and have filled it with soil, you are ready!
Gardening tools can be found at Carrefour — teach your child to dig a small hole and place the seeds inside, covering it well with soil. Depending on the flower, you will then have to water it and check on it daily or every other day. If it is a fast growing plant, older children can keep a small record of the development of the flower as it grows and when it blooms.
If you have a garden, you can also teach your child to move the plant into the garden once it has grown too big for its pot.
For added benefits, consider planting vegetables instead of flowers. Radishes are the easiest to grow but runner beans, sweet peas and lettuce should grow easily as well.
Planting marigolds indoors:
- Choose a pot and fill half way with ‘pot mix’ or soil — which ever you can find in your area.
- Sprinkle marigold seeds around the pot and the cover it with ¼ inch layer of soil that will absorb moisture — add in mixed leaves or peat moss if the soil is too thin.
- Keep moist with little bits of water or sprays of water — children will have fun doing this.
- Seeds should germinate in 3-4 days.
- By the time 10 days have passed, if the seeds have germinated well, choose the strong marigold plants and put each one in its own pot.