As Spring arrives, and children get to spend more time outside, it’s a great time to talk about all that is happening in nature. Last week, my daughter and I took a trip to the seed store, had a helpful conversation with the owner, and returned home to plant our seeds. My daughter wanted to grow specific plants for the garden so she could enjoy the fruits of her labor. The owner of the shop explained it was too early to plant certain kinds of seeds, and guided us in the best and most fun way to plant seeds inside to watch them grow. He also suggested Peat Pellets to aid in growing, and we watched the pellets expand by adding water to create the soil. My daughter kept saying “I didn’t know we could plant seeds inside!” We predicted how long it would take the seeds to sprout, and talked about the essential items for seeds to grow: sun, water, and soil. We chose a sunny spot to keep the plants, and my daughter is keeping watch over them. I know this is a valuable hands-on learning experience she won’t forget.
Gro Garden is your child’s virtual garden. Drag the seeds into the holes and add fertilizer. Stir up your own compost pile and add rain to your garden to make it grow. Tap to pour on the sunshine and rain. There is not a right way to play the game, rather, discovering how to make your garden successful through interacting with the different components is the goal. Feed your fresh vegetables to the characters in the app, and start the process over again. The app does not include narration, so parents you will want to supply the vocabulary and guide the discussion about growing plants. Gro Garden is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and is available for iPhone and iPad.
Plants is a wonderful non-fiction app for the iPad. Children can take an in-depth look at the process of photosynthesis, and adaptations that plants make in the environment. This informational app includes sections such as “Plants as Art,” “Unusual Plants,” and “Plants Around the World.” Plants by Kids Discover includes animation, videos, puzzles and games for children to learn about Plants. Check out their website for a Lesson Plan to help you learn along with your child. Kids Discover is $3.99 and available for iPad. This app is appropriate for children ages 3-8.