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Gardening with Grandpa

by Francis Wardle
May/June 2016
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/gardening-with-grandpa/5022987/

Five-year-old Elly is surveying my garden. She sees the tomato plants beginning to thrive, and the neat lines of carrot seedlings. “Grandpa, how did you do all of this?” she asks.

You see, last year she helped me with my garden. And now she is amazed that I could do all of this without her help. A preschooler’s egocentrism and positive self-esteem are amazing!

Elly really enjoys helping me in the garden. She enjoys finding and picking (and eating!) the sweet, ripe straw­berries; she has become astute at judging the ripeness of tomatoes, only picking those that are ready; and she has mastered the ability to pull carrots from the ground without breaking off their tops.


There are many grandfathers — and some grandmothers, I suspect — who enjoy gardening with their grand­children. Early childhood programs can take advantage of these relationships, and develop a gardening program so that young children can explore the value of gardening, and enjoy working alongside their grandparents. While some grandparents’ schedules don’t permit them to do this, especially those raising their own grandchildren (Birckmayer et al., 2005), others have the time and desire to volunteer in community projects. We are ...

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