Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raising the Little Gardener

I am not ashamed for not being a hockey fan. Yes, I am Canadian, but our TV is more likely to be turned to HGTV than to a hockey game. Furthermore, we won't be sending our kids to hockey camps. Not a chance. I had no idea how fanatical people could get about hockey until I moved to Saskatchewan. Some of these folks are certifiable hockey-lunatics. Instead, I am planning on raising little gardeners and hope to cultivate the love of plants and gardening in these impressionable minds. The assistant gardener (two years old) already knows "tulips", "dandelions", and "alliums". I will be proud if she knows the botanical names of half a dozen plants before going to preschool. She has three garden tool sets, several watering cans, a wheelbarrow, and a couple of gardening gloves (though they're still too large). I may not be able to convert any adult non-gardener into a plant-lover, but as terrorists and cults have shown, you can have great influence on the young. So here I am, somewhere between a hockey fan and and a terrorist..

As a part of my strategic plan: surround the child with garden-themed toys. I have found a favourite online toy store (Ape to Zebra) that sells quality non-toxic toys, such as this wooden Plan Toys vegetable garden:

I already have the Plan Toys wooden chalet dollhouse and family. Between taking baths, jumping out the skylights, and rearranging the furniture, the family certainly could enjoy tending the carrots and turnips. I see that there is also an "Eco House" with a windmill, recyling bins, and solar panels, for the environmentally-conscious wooden doll family. We have decided that children's toys should be about fun and having your child to grow up to be a good little citizen. Teaching your child to be wise with resources and grow their own food is a great thing.

Other garden-themed toys on my wishlist: the Haba baby's first soft vegetables:

Then you can teach about pests (and how they can be cute, I suppose) with the Haba Pommella apple and worm:

Healthy food goes hand-in-hand with gardening, and I love the cute wooden play foods. We have a little collection going already. This is the Melissa and Doug crate of fruit for cutting:

Finally, we have the Plan Toys "Farm wife". Hmmm. Aside from the scarf, plaid shirt, and long skirt, she looks strikingly like me! I'll wait till I find the ultra-stylish, Tilley-hat wearing "Gardener Mom".

(By the way, Ape to Zebra has really good shipping rates and I've been happy with the orders I have made.) While parents may not be able to control who their child marries or what career they choose, I'm hoping to create gardener-offspring. Does anyone have stories of success in this type of endeavor?


Kandace Groenewegen said...

I love the apple and worm toy!! That's great! Anything non-toxic is two thumbs up in my books.

Clayton said...

Who would have thought it! Too cute. And I agree what a good thing to teach your child. I am hoping my son learns at least by osmosis as he has never been a gardener but I put him to work from time to time. Then he also works at Lee Valley so he's getting the tools right at least!