Lasagna garden?! During the quarantine, many people have started or expanded veggie gardens including myself. More families are spending time out in their gardens with their young children. I’m sure it has lifted their spirits.
Like our local farmer Phil said, they’re looking to the future. I bet eating tasty fruit and vegetables brought such joy to those families. And you can do it easily by making a lasagna garden!
In this article, I’ll show you how to make a lasagna garden with children.
Before creating a lasagna garden…
Before we start, I recommend you to get a book called “Compost Stew” by Mary McKenna Siddals. It has many tips on what can go into your garden. Then read it together with your children.
While you are reading, the children will learn about composting and the alphabet. Additionally, the illustrations in the book inspire readers for sure.
You can also watch the youtube video below. The video shows compost materials that are available on a farm. This is exactly what you are going to do (at home)!
Tips on extra learning opportunities:
#1 Take time to explore
When reading Compost Stew or watching the video, point out the different ways they use paper. For instance, folding paper (like origami) to make a hat.
Another technique is tearing it to make soft edges for the field. It may inspire the children to make their art. Maybe they can make a sign in your garden!
The book facilitates exploring creativity even just with paper. While you read, you are seeding curiosity.
#2 Boost literacy skills by creating a lasagna garden
Children learn through play. So, let’s invite them to come up with their own ingredients for the letters of the alphabet, just like in the book. Instead of apple core for A, simply ask what else they know that begins with the letter A.
You may be surprised by their creative mind! I have learned different perspectives by listening to the little teachers.
#3 Create a drama play
Children are amazingly good at this. For instance, they can easily become sou-chefs! As you might have guessed, their main customers are the wiggly worms. So they need to have smaller compost bites. Yes, the young chefs will chop up the kitchen scraps, cut/rip newspaper, and jump on the dry leaves in the fall!
My boys liked to ride on the leaves! Not only can they help the worms, but they also gain fine & large motor skills.
#4 Make a replica of the lasagna garden
The visuals in the book and videos help children to process the info before they start the actual lasagna/compost stew garden.
But the best part is creating a garden in a box using actual materials. It’s a fun DIY project! I had so much fun making it, and for sure the little ones love the sense of accomplishment they get from creating their own.
#5 Plan a field trip
If you want to know more about composting and lasagna gardens, contact a local organization. They often offer tours or classes on gardening. I have arranged for a visitor to come and do a demonstration for the children. Of course, the best part of it was the wiggly worms!
*Check with the local organization about Covid-19 protocols for planning.
In conclusion, there are many activities we can do to enrich the lasagna garden experience. It is up to you to add more, I mean both before and after the event. All you need is to facilitate an activity, then withdraw when children engage in it.
What we want is to follow the children’s lead. They will take you somewhere you never imagined. It’s their world we want to see, and this is how you can learn about your children.