Sunday, October 2, 2011

Precocious Pre-Schoolers put Classroom Concepts to the Test by Amy Bubar

Remember the first time you felt the joy of digging in the dirt, making a home for a tiny plant and nurturing it into a full-grown leafy donor of juicy, delicious veggies?  A group of children at the Mount Saint Vincent Home is doing just that.  Though they range from only 3 to 5 years old, as pre-schoolers they’ve already been taught the basics. 

Every Wednesday afternoon a small group of Colorado Master Gardeners gets the pleasure of spending an hour with these children.  To make the most of their perpetual physical and mental motion, the first half of the session is spent with hand-on activities in the garden.  The dozen or so children share activities such as planting, weeding, watering, and even tasting the end products… all the while indirectly soaking in a bit of Gardening 101.  Just as these little gardeners start wandering away from the duties at hand, or giving in to the overwhelming temptation of spraying their classmates, we quickly transition back into the classroom.  After regrouping, we typically read a story or teach a short lesson on topics such as plant parts, composting, and insects.  The lesson then wraps up with a relevant hands-on project favorite such as starting seeds in egg cartons, decorating wooden insects, and making insects out of actual fruits and vegetables.

The Mount Saint Vincent Home is pleased with the work that Colorado Master Gardeners have done this season and looks to expand involvement next season. 

If you are interested in helping to grow a new generation of Colorado gardeners, please stay tuned for more information on how you can help starting next spring!