We love gardening with our daughters. When we use eggshells as planters, we layer lessons about seeds and the growth cycle with the practice of reuse and composting -- which will help keep some spring in our planet’s step. This project has something for everyone -- sensory goodness for the toddlers, introductory science for the preschoolers, and environmental awareness for all of us. Most of it can be done by the kids themselves, which fosters a sense of self-reliance and pride. It requires some patience, but the payoff is quick enough to keep this interesting, satisfying, and even a little funny (although your kids may not get your “egghead” jokes). No wonder it’s such a crowdpleaser.
This activity is jam-packed with learning opportunities. There are obvious science lessons -- kids can observe directly how seeds germinate, seedlings form, and organic materials decompose. Even if they’re too young for the scientific terminology, they’re squirreling away direct experience with concepts that will enhance their learning later on.
The messy project of prepping the soil allows for hands-on play that helps engage senses and exercises fine-motor skills. It’s also a great example of the universal human behavior patterns that early childhood development experts call transforming schema.
Finally, this project offers natural entry into conversations about the environment, wastefulness, composting, and recycling—all on a child-friendly level. When we discuss these subjects with our children at an early age, we help connect them to the world they live in, showing them how they can make a positive impact. That boosts their self-esteem today -- and helps create an environmentally savvy generation tomorrow.