“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.” ~ Maria Montessori

🌺 Each spring, we prepare our flower boxes, beds and pots with fresh soil. Once prepared, we plant a variety of flowers to enjoy all summer long. Along with the beautiful flowers, we also add a new tree annually. As the landscape takes shape, it’s always wonderful to see how much our garden grows.

🌱 Involving the child in the care and planting is an ideal opportunity for learning growth. Like the soil we use, the child’s natural interest in how to do these practical life activities is rich. Both the plants and the child are ready to ‘take root’. Meanwhile, the practical life, sensorial, language, math and cultural experiences that can follow are everywhere … 🧹👀🗣🌷+🌷+🌷🍋…

Guided Plant Care

💦 Once planted, offer lessons on watering, misting, trimming, cleaning, weeding, etc. These should be simple and shown using clear and exaggerated movements based on the age and ability of the the child to allow for their successful participation in the process. Child-size tools and expectations are very helpful too!

☀️ During the warmer seasons, it’s wise to spend time outside before it becomes too warm. The outdoor plants will appreciate some early attention too. Watering in morning (or late in the day) helps the flowers, trees and plants absorb the water before the sun causes it to evaporate. Spark the child’s imagination by wondering how it might feel to be planted in soil and cared for. Discuss how their parts function (a tree, flower, plant, …)—especially as they grow.

Making Connections

🌳 As a learning extension, a ‘Parts of the Tree’ puzzle can serve the child with a more concrete understanding of the tree: the roots, trunk, branches, stems and leaves, and how each functions. Puzzles are great overall for children—developmentally and for enjoyment as an activity.

Meanwhile, the seeds of conversation will be planted and, like the tree, the child’s roots of learning will grow stronger and deeper. After all, the best growth and learning happens in fertile soil.

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