Gardening with a Preschooler: Strawberries

An update on our three-year-old and his gardening project:

We wanted our preschooler to take more ownership of our family garden this year, and as he is in a big “all by myself” phase, we decided that he needed a gardening project that would be his own.  Last year, we purchased two strawberry plants and put them in containers on our patio.  They yielded one berry all summer, and over the winter, one of the plants died.  I put the remaining plant in the ground this spring and, since it was such a little thing, thought it might be a good project for our little man.

He has watered it faithfully every day and kept it clear of weeds, and finally, all his work was rewarded a couple of weeks ago with a beautiful, ripe strawberry.  Since then, he has been able to harvest two more berries, so we’re already at triple last year’s take!  He tells me they are delicious.

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This project has given our son clear responsibilities and the opportunity to see how hard work and dedication yield tangible results.  It is a small enough task for a three-year-old to master without frustration, but he is doing real, useful work that directly results in a delicious, nourishing reward.

How do you foster opportunities for your children to experience real work that is practical for their age and also produces a valuable result?

 

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