gardening with children Consider planting a three sisters garden to share history, how plants grow, and how plants can help each other thrive. The 'three sisters' are corn, beans, and squash—all planted together in the same row. Gardens were first planted this way by Native Americans. This healthy trio was so important to the Native Americans that they told many stories about them and held celebrations and ceremonies to honor them.
Older children can be shown how the bean tendrils climb the corn, the corn will use the nitrogen it needs from the beans, the beans and the corn will flourish because of the squash's leaves that will shade the soil and keep weeds away. The three seeds planted together help each other thrive. And, helping each other is something even children understand—as they help you in the garden, and you help them to learn to garden.
a simple, little lesson for the little ones Visit the garden daily to show how the seeds sprout, the leaves unfurl, and the stems grow taller. Let them experience the joy of picking and tasting the crops.
corn, beans and squash are good for us too Eaten together—just as they are grown together—these three vegetables make a healthy, colorful meal. Sunny corn is a carbohydrate complimented by beans' protein. And, the beautiful bold oranges and yellows of squash are rich in vitamin A. Corns, beans, and squash are full of fiber. The best part? Food kids have grown themselves are the most fun to eat—even for resistant vegetable eaters!
Planting a three sisters garden is a wholesome way for children to learn about Native American customs, gardening, and healthy eating—so they are good vegetables for planting in a garden for children. And, don't forget—gardening is healthy, active way for children to spend time outdoors.
Photos above Big hand. Little hand. Little hands help big hands. To a child, garden work is play. And, learning along the way.
©heather cahoon • wordplayhouse®
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