“The organic gardener does not think of throwing away the garbage. She knows that she needs the garbage. She is capable of transforming the garbage into compost, so that the compost can turn into lettuce, cucumber, radishes, and flowers again…With the energy of mindfulness, you can look into the garbage and say: I am not afraid. I am capable of transforming the garbage back into love.” -Nhat Hanh
Some of you who know me might be aware that we are in the process of moving states still. Well, kinda! Our lease was not able to be broken so we have been paying rent to a home we don’t live in until about a month ago. Fun times! So in return, we have been living with my grandma/ at my moms frequently to let our dog roam her fenced in yard. It’s a little bit like living out of a suitcase with a husband, baby, and a dog. Thankful for my family sharing their homes, but I am ready to settle back into our own place to say the least.
Given the circumstances, there are a few parenting projects and goals I have to just put on hold until we find our new home. One of those projects is making a garden for (hopefully) lots of food! It’s important to me to share this gardening experience with little Saylor. It will demonstrate the importance of responsibility, patience, growth, and so much more! The hands on activities will teach life long lessons that he will be able to share with his own family.
I think it’s important to start off simple when teaching the babes. I decided to teach Saylor the importance of various garden foods. Today was obviously cantaloupe! Using the cantaloupe for various activities demonstrated the importance of the food beyond eating. It shows that the food can have multiples purposes to dumb it down. Later in life maybe he will not paint with cantaloupe skins, but realize the importance of compost instead of just throwing it to the trash.
I brought four slices of cantaloupe outside for Saylor to explore/eat this morning. He used hand eye coordination and fine motor skills to grasp the cantaloupe on his own. He observed textures, colors, shapes, and smells while we talked about them together. Sharing everything verbally with infants is important when helping them develop their language. The more you talk, the more connections they can make! Careful, this can be dangerous when using adult words or gossiping. It might not be now….but they WILL share later. Try to get familiar with using your kiddo muzzle, ha!!
I was prepared to let Saylor make a huge mess during the sensory/ snack session. It can be challenging letting our kids making a mess, however stepping back is the perfect way to instill their independence. Make a commitment to step back during certain activities. It feels easier for me to step back when I have prepared clean up supplies ahead of time. So get a wet wash cloth and whatever else you need ready. When the free play messy activity is over, you’ve got it covered!
I think I have shared before that I often use my sensory item for art afterwards. Repetition helps build strong connections. Just like in college when you study the subject in different ways, it’s easier to grasp. Letting Saylor observe the cantaloupe in a different way helped him to learn and make more connections.
I placed green and orange (colors that make me think of cantaloupe) on a paper. I demonstrated turning the cantaloupe skin and then encouraged Saylor to join in! He used fine motor and hand eye coordination to grasp the cantaloupe skin. He observed colors, shapes, and textures while creating his art. I stepped back and encourage independence while he worked on this project. When he was finished I held the painting up and showed him his work! I encouraged him to notice the colors and shapes on the painting. I like to display Saylors art around the house so that he can look at it during the day. Other times I use his art for thank you notes, get well soon, or other notes “from Saylor” to include a special something that is actually from him. It makes the mail more personable and that is definitely something I want to share with my kids. Don’t you agree there is something special about receiving mail that had thought put into it? 🙂