By Christine of Belly Bear Baby Gear
Now that we are well into the season of spring many of you out there are seeding your lawns and watching them grow. With plenty of grass seed on hand, you have the opportunity to create a fun sensory/fine motor growth opportunity for your children. All you'll need is some top soil, grass seed, a dish pan and some children's scissors.
Let's begin: Have your children help you fill your dish pan with a few inches of dirt and sprinkle a liberal amount of seed on top of the dirt. Let your little ones help water the seed and dirt.
Then place your pan in a nice sunny space.
Now will be the time for patience and learning. Encourage your child to help you water the seeds over the next couple weeks as they sprout and grow. As the grass begins sprouting, bring the pan down and let your children have a feel. Ask prompting questions such as: "How does it feel?" and "Is the grass long or short?"
In approximately 2-3 weeks, you will have lovely lush grass in a pan which will possibly prompt your husband to ask, "When you're done with this, can I transplant it to the dead spot in our lawn?" Until then, it's time to get out the scissors and invite your child to snip away.
Young toddlers will need help learning how to hold the scissors and snip the grass. You can show them how to use both hands and open and close the scissors. As always, this activity should be done under close adult supervision, even children's scissors can hurt. While your child trims the grass, you can ask prompting questions such as, "What do the scissors do?" and "What is happening to the grass?" Also allow children the opportunity to simply feel the grass with their hands. My little ones even tried sticking their toes in the tub!
Older children may enjoy a variation on this activity. Using an old nylon, sprinkle some grass seed into the toe, pour some dirt on top of the seed and tie off the nylon. You can then draw a face onto the nylon with a permanent marker and water it regularly. You will soon have a little nylon person with grass for hair. Your child will enjoy giving him a haircut!
This fun activity meets several early learning standards as noted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
-Use their senses to learn about objects in the environment. discover that they can make things happen and solve simple problems.
-Infants and toddlers/twos have multiple opportunities to develop fine-motor skills by acting on their environments using their hands and fingers in a variety of age-appropriate ways.
-Children are provided varied opportunities and materials that support fine-motor development.
Enjoy this fun learning activity with your children and maybe even grow a small patch of grass for a lawn in need.
Christine can be found online on her blog Belly Bear Baby Gear, facebook, and her etsy shop: