Small green plant in children's palmsBy Michelle Wilson, Development Director of The Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

Soon after Valentine’s Day, right after all of the red and white bows and hearts start to come off of the shelves, little signs of the coming of spring start to poke their heads out around us. Stores start selling packets of seeds to plant, in preparation for the warmer days to come and the anticipation of summer flowers and garden vegetables.

This is a great time of year to plan positive family time together.

You can start with a handful of tiny seeds sown in dirt-filled paper cups set in a kitchen window. Even very young children can help with choosing the types of flowers to grow or the varieties of vegetables to grace the table later in the year. Choose soil that is as rich with nutrients as possible to give the young seeds a good start, and read the seed package directions for information on what they need in the way of sun and water.

When the first green sprouts start to pop up through the soil, children and adults alike can’t help but get excited about the magic that is happening right in the kitchen window.

This is good time to either choose a good spot in the yard to transplant those seeds into a small garden or to pick out some clay pots (which you can paint yourself to add another creative step to the process) to hold the young plants as they grow and blossom.

When the flowers and vegetables start to come into full bloom, everyone in the family can celebrate the accomplishment of growing something together. Cutting fresh flowers and bringing them into the house is a great way to bring simple beauty into each day, and even kids who don’t normally like to eat their vegetables can’t help but try them when they have grown them from seedlings!

Once you start growing things, it can become an annual event, much like celebrating holidays or birthdays, only this event can last from late winter when you buy those first seed packets until late in the fall when you harvest the last vegetables before the cold weather really hits.

Simple activities that focus on beauty, nature, and good food are often the best ways to spend quality together as a family.

As we watch tiny seeds grow into small seedlings — then blooms — then into full blossom, we can be reminded to pay attention to the ways our children are growing each day. We can remember to nurture them with everything they need and never take them for granted. And we can celebrate each day with them, teaching them both the natural rhythms of nature and of strong, healthy family life.

4 thoughts on “Planting Seeds and Watching Them Grow”

  1. Garden for my family is a place to spend time together. Even my youngest daughter ( two years) loves helping with the garden work and enjoys the time spent with her older brothers and sister. We start from early spring with our home and hand-made seed starters and we spend all our summer and most of the fall in the garden working, or just sitting and relaxing, or even playing. The children are never forced to work, they choose their own activities and they know that the most important is to feel happy in our garden, no matter what they do. Greets!

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