It is no secret that getting children involved in gardening can have lasting positive effects. From improved behavior and work ethic to increased motivation, studies have shown that kids who participate in garden related tasks at home or in the classroom can benefit greatly.
As students head back to the classroom in fall, or even for those who may be homeschooling, there is no reason that garden learning and growing has to cease. Fall gardening with kids can be a fulfilling and satisfying way to continue teaching core curriculum content, as well as spark an interest in nature.
Gardening in Fall with Children
For seasoned growers, the process of planning an autumn garden for kids may seem extremely simple. Gardening in the fall with children often begins in summer with the sowing and transplanting of fall vegetable crops.
Vegetables harvested in the fall include many brassicas (cabbage and its relatives), as well as leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. These crisp greens are ideal for homegrown salads and veggie dishes.
Many fall garden activities for kids involve the development of patience. Though few things will grow through the winter months in some regions, preparing for the spring growing season in fall can help foster a greater appreciation of the changing seasons.
Clearing out the growing space can teach children about soil health, as well as the requirements for plant growth. The creation of a compost bin or “worm farm” can help students better understand how these nutrients are produced. Fall is also the ideal time to begin raking leaves or moving them to the garden for use in bed preparation.
Last, but certainly not least, fall is a time of observation. As the weather begins to change, children may benefit from keeping a journal filled with changes noted in plants and in the behavior of animals and insects. From butterfly migration to changes in leaf foliage, simple observation can open the door to curiosity, improved scientific reasoning, and other vital skills necessary for lifelong success in the classroom.