There is no better way for children to understand the world around them than to spend time in the great outdoors. We have always encouraged our boys to be active in the garden. They enjoy nothing better than to be up to their ears in mud – D particularly!!! This season though we are encouraging them to be more thoughtful about what they are doing when they are pottering. I grew up spending a ridiculous number of hours weeding and watering with my Dad on the allotment which was just across the road from where we lived. We always had fresh veg, and I don’t think I knew you could buy it until I was almost a teenager. We grew our own, so I assumed that’s what everyone else did! The allotment went when Dad became ill, but we carried on, on a smaller scale in the back garden. Nothing beats the taste of vegetables that a picked, cooked and eaten without a time delay. When Hubby and I were discussing what we wanted from a house when I was planning to move up here, I insisted on a garden. Hubby had never had one before having lived in a flat all of his life. It didn’t take him long to learn what a great space it could be. The first year we were in the house we only grew carrots, and to see Hubbys face when he first tasted what a truly fresh one tasted like was astonishing! Our garden is a mess, I can’t deny that, but we are gradually getting it sorted, and have installed a couple of raised beds, and a mini greenhouse. It’s an ongoing project that can be infuriating, but fun all the same! The boys do love to help. The senses are on full alert in the garden for them. There are so many things that need to be felt, to be experienced. Gardening isn’t just a task for an ASD child, it is a full on sensory experience. The smells, the feel, the colours, all are experienced at full pelt. Then once the growing is done there is the tasting to be enjoyed! A while back, I signed up to the BritMums gardening challenge. So, this post is an entry for the BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge which is being sponsored by Moneysupermarket.com ( www.moneysupermarket.com/home-insurance/competitions/kids-grow-wild/.) The boys recieved a fabulous kit for doing the gardening. There was a gardening bag, a watering can, gardening gloves, a fork and trowel – in a size perfect for their hands, and packets of seeds. They were over joyed. The seeds were duly planted by them, and without argument, they took some each and marked their pots. Every day, they have been out to the greenhouse to water them, and were so excited when the first pumpkin plants were seen poking their heads through the soil. M has already started designing his jack-o-lantern, and told me I will be making pumpkin soup – nothing like planning ahead!
I think every child benefits from being outside doing stuff with nature. You hear so much about kids not wanting to do anything but play on their games machines, but I find it hard to comprehend a child not wanting to play about in the soil if they have the opportunity. I know it’s not possible for everyone. My boys love nothing better than wasting a day with Lego Star Wars on either the wii or the DS, but they love being out doors more.
I will keep you posted on how the boys plants come along, one thing is for sure, and that is they wont go without the love of an enthusiastic wee gardener!
Thank you BritMums’ and Moneysupermarket.com for the tools, the boys totally love them and will be making good use of them over the coming months.