What child does not like to get their hands dirty? Gardening is such a perfect way to introduce young children to the natural world, whether your garden is dug into your yard, in a raised bed, or in a small pot on your windowsill. Start by having them select the seeds they want to plant and guess what each seed will “grow up to be.” Show them that a pea seed looks very different from a carrot seed, which is also different from lettuce seed or a bean seed. Have them arrange the seeds, smallest to largest and talk about the food that each will produce. Does the seed look anything like the food it turns into? After you plant the seeds and nurture them along, ensuring each plant receives enough water and sun, examine the leaves that sprout and continue to watch for changes as they grow. Go on a nature hunt in your yard, or on the website: do any of the garden plants resemble plants that grow naturally in Edmonton? As your child nurtures each plant, nurture their curiosity for the natural world around them. Getting our hands dirty is a great way to spend a day, and all the better when we discover more about food and nature through the eyes of a child.

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