- Author: Stephanie Collins
The kids are out of school, and most likely the summer heat has not zapped the energy and excitement that is naturally present in the summer. It might persuade them not to go outside much though. This means that parents may have no choice but to come up with something fun and entertaining to do indoors. Need some ideas? In fact, wouldn't it be nice if the kids could actually do something a little educational while they are being entertained indoors. Even more, what if the kids could learn about agriculture and where their food comes from… while being educational… while being fun…while being indoors. Whew, that's a lot to accomplish right? Well…listed below is just that: fun, indoor, agricultural, learning activities to do with children indoors.
- Eggshell Gardening
Next time you make eggs for breakfast, take a needle and poke a hole through the big end of the shell. This serves as a drainage hole. Then break the shells so the bottom 2/3 of the shell is intact. Save the egg carton but remove the lid. Have the child soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. It helps the seeds germinate faster. Place the egg shells back in the carton. Fill with wet but not soggy new potting soil. Have the child plant the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep in the soil. Cover the egg carton and planted shells with plastic wrap. Place in a sunny window. When the seeds sprout remove the plastic wrap. You can transplant into a larger container egg shell and all.
Try planting herbs or sprouting alfalfa. These are plants that grow quickly, can be harvested easily indoors and used right away in delicious summer recipes. Check out “Alfalfa Sushi Rolls”, a FARM SMART favorite on our Facebook page.
- Root Garden
Cut the top inch off of root vegetables such as carrots, beets, turnips, and sweet potatoes. Place in flat bottom glass dishes on top of a layer of marbles. The marbles keep the cutting off the bottom and give the roots a chance to grow. More than one root cutting may be placed in the same dish. Fill the dish with water up to the crown of the cutting. The water should not submerge the cutting. Place in a sunny window and in a few days the tops will start to sprout new leaves.
It doesn't take a gardening expert to ‘get growing indoors.' Indoor gardening can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for your children, and there are so many activities from which to choose. So whether you decide to start some plants from seed, start an herb garden, or decorate some containers, just remember to ‘Let it Grow, Let it Grow!
- Grow seeds of knowledge
Children who read throughout the summer gain skills,can start the new school year with a better understanding of language and theworld around them, and discover the joy of reading. Almost everything we dopresents an opportunity to read. When you're eating breakfast, read the cerealbox; if you're in a restaurant, read the menu. Have you ever wondered how plants grow or what it´s like to drive a tractor? There are a number of excellent books with accurate information about agriculture to satisfy your curiosity and also entertain. A few FARM SMART favorites:
- How Did That Get in My Lunch Box?
- And the Good Brown Earth
- Planting a Rainbow
- The Wheat Doll
- Watermelon Day
- A Hog Ate My Homework
- Virtual Ag
Today's kids are whizzes with computers and all things virtual/digital, so with parental monitoring, the Internet is a great source of “funucational” learning games on hundreds of subjects including agriculture and food processing.These games correspond to various aspects of agriculture: mathematical, scientific, and social. Children can play these games and learn about the concepts addressed in them while having fun. Some recommended websites are: myamericanfarm.com or kidsfarm.com or farmsfoodfun.com
Summer is one of a child's most fun and memorable seasons. But when it's just too hot to be outside, bring the outside inside with these suggestions for discovering our foods incredible journey from planting of the seed to the time we eat it.