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Activities with Fletcher
Are you stuck at home with the kids because of coronavirus? I am too! My four year old son, Fletcher, and I are making the best of it with easy activities at home that help to keep him entertained and learning- like easy gardening with kids! Many of them involve things I already have on hand in our kitchen. What I want him to remember from this period of time is how many cool things we created and all of the fun we had together.
We wanted to share the projects that we’ve done to help give ideas to other families! Fletcher is in preschool but many of the activities can be adapted for older kids as well. Check out this blog for tips on easy gardening with kids!
Easy Gardening with Kids in Small Spaces
When my husband and I first moved to Tennessee from San Diego, CA, we built a huge garden. We soon learned that the ample rain water and green grass that grows here meant we would be constantly deeling with weeds. Because of the little rain we got in San Diego, we had drip lines that would water the plants on a timer and only water the section where the drip line was. As you can imagine, we did not have much of a weed problem.
The overwhelming feeling of having to weed that first garden kept us from doing a garden since then, until last year. I made a promise to myself that I was going to do a small garden that I could better manage. Last year I made two garden beds that were close to the house and Fletcher helped me keep up with them. That was also when I learned that if he was involved in the process of growing food in the garden, he was more willing to try new vegetables!! This was a game changer for us. We went from having a kid that wouldn’t touch a vegetable to having a kid that ate cilantro off the plant any time he passed it.
The first thing we did when the Coronavirus started making its way through the United States, was to clean up our garden and get new seeds planted. We also planted two pots with herbs that you see when walk up the path to our front door.
The tools used for gardening can be dangerous for young kids but you can still get creative with ways they can help. Here are some ideas that I’ve used to keep Fletcher helping and engaged. And remember, they don’t have to have a green thumb to be involved. You can always go behind them and fix things, if needed.
Weeding the Garden
Most kids love getting dirty and being destructive and pulling out weeds checks both those boxes. Even if Fletcher doesn’t do a great job, it doesn’t matter. He is having fun, I’m happy because I have help, and we are doing something together!
Have Gardening Tools They Can Use
Fletcher loves imitating me so if I’m wearing gardening gloves, he wants to wear gloves too. I found him his own little gardening set at Aldi last summer. It’s been a great purchase for only a few dollars!
Getting rocks out of your soil is great for your plants and great for your kids! Fletcher came up with the idea of using his dump truck to collect the rocks at the garden and then taking it to our rock bucket. He loved his garden job!
Watering the Garden
Watering the garden is probably the easiest way to incorporate them. Kids love playing with water and they can have fun spraying it all around. Just be sure to watch them and don’t let them switch it to the pressure wash setting! Fletcher kept trying to do that because he thought it was funny!
Harvest the Goods
This is when you get to reap the fruit of you labor – literally! Kids will be so excited to pick and collect the food they’ve helped grow. Truth be told, I get just as excited as Fletcher when we finally get to harvest the goods!
Let Them be Silly
When they’re ready to stop helping with the garden tasks you’ve given them, let them come up with their own ideas of fun. We were cracking up at the stick man Fletcher created and he was so excited about it he asked me to take this picture!
Have a Place for Them to Rest
Gardening is hard work and they may get tired of helping you. I always have a blanket out for him to sit on once he hits that point. I don’t want to push him and make him feel like gardening is work. I got this blanket off of Amazon and I absolutely LOVE it. He’ll sit there eating snacks and “supervising” my work. It cracks me up!
Ideas of What to Plant
- Bush Beans (Fletcher has so much fun picking these and tasting them! They also do not need a lot of space to grow)
- Basil (If you grow too much, you can always freeze basil using the tips in this blog!)
Meet Alane and Fletcher
Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!
Fletcher enjoys break dancing, cooking, sports commentary, and running really fast speed - anywhere and everywhere. He is an avid lover of music and plays harmonica, drums, and guitar. From a young age, he has loved being a part of whatever his parents, Alane and Micah, are doing. He has even started coming up with recipes of his own to test out. His dream is to own 10 coffee shops from Tennessee to Arizona to Minnesota.
Growing up together
There is no doubt that even as we get older, we don’t stop learning and that is what both Fletcher and I have done together since I had him. I’ve grown a ton raising him and watching him grow. I like to think we are both growing up together. I have tried to incorporate Fletcher in everything I do from to cooking and cleaning the kitchen, to practicing for media events, to traveling the world for speaking engagements. I try to make it fun so he keeps wanting to be a part of it. Not everything is a win but everyday is a new adventure!