Tips, Tools and Activities
As spring flowers arrive in May, it encourages everyone in the family to dig in the dirt. Help your family understand the growing process by starting a miniature garden of your own. Kids will enjoy watching seeds sprout and flowers bloom. Ask the children what they would like to plant â€“ they will then take ownership of watering and caring for the plant while they watch it grow. Talk about the plantsâ€™ needs: Soil, sunlight and water. Discuss the connection between gardening, farming, harvesting and what plants your family eats at meals.
Play Every Day
Make physical activity a family affair this summer. Make a list at mealtime that includes activities for the backyard, around the neighborhood, the pool, at a local park, for a really hot day and even indoors for those rainy days. Make an “Activity To-Do List” as a family and post it on the refrigerator or in each child’s bedroom. After school and before dinner is the perfect time to check off some activities. Allow these activities and games to last 30-60 minutes. This will not only decrease daily screen time, but will provide your family with the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
As summer grows closer, the days get longer and, at times, it can be hard to settle in for the evening. Whether it is hard to calm down or simply to fall asleep, using aromatherapy scents can help everyone in the family relax and enjoy a restful night of sleep. It might be in the form of a small candle, lotion, essential oil, bath salts, or a tea. Whatever it may be, allow it to set the stage for bedtime. After dinner, allow these scents to relax the entire household:
Q: I would love for my child to experience having a garden, but unfortunately we live in an apartment building with no green space. How do I make that connection with limited resources?
A: Try utilizing a sunny window in your apartment and begin with something small and easy, like herbs. You can grow herbs in small cups, mugs or even toilet paper tubes. You only need a small amount of dirt and a few seeds of your favorite herb. Plan to grow something you can use in your cooking, for example, dill, basil, rosemary, parsley, chives or cilantro. Have your child pick the container, add the soil and dig the holes for the seeds. If you have a small spot of sunshine, only plant a few seeds â€“ even just a few will provide enough for a couple family dinners. Let your child care for the plant and then harvest when ready. Research with your child a recipe that calls for your homegrown herb, and cook with your child. Let them smell and taste the herb before and after cooking. Discuss at meal time what they think of the herb as a plant and as an ingredient for cooking.
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