Guest Post-Mandy Blocker

Today’s guest post is from a friend who has helped me in many ways along my journey of learning. She has some great points about the importance of gardening with kids. Thank you Mandy! Check it out!

Hello bloggers!
My name is Mandy Blocker. Super excited Christina asked me to do a guest post on her “Little Sprouts Learning” page! My “real job” here in Muskogee is serving the county as the Agriculture/4-H Educator at the OSU Cooperative Extension Office… where I have the privilege of handling numerous calls on gardening, livestock, pests, you name it! My job is different every day, which is what makes it FUN!
With all that being said, my post today will be about the importance of teaching our children about gardening and how to grow their own food! Miss Christina is SUPER enthusiastic and one of her main objectives is to teach her kiddos the importance of eating well at a young age. She makes learning fun and exciting, which is KEY!
During their early development, kids are curious and love to learn… well, I guess I should say, when they want to! I have had a little experience working with students in the greenhouse and garden setting. Most students will find this time very relaxing and soothing. A child who spends time in the garden can experience the satisfaction that comes from taking care of something over time, while observing what seems like NEVER ENDING “ups and downs” of gardening! Learning to adapt to change and overcome certain obstacles is critical at a young age, and these skills will help them as they enter the real world or workforce after schooling is done!
When they transition into the public school system, many students will have the possibility to participate in their school wide gardens. Muskogee is known for its Health and Wellness Initiative. Lots of different entities have programs where people come to the schools and teach children about nutrition and a lot of area elementary schools now have their own gardens! That is super exciting! Big or small, having a place for the students to plant, water, feed and watch their plants grow is very rewarding. It gives them a sense of achievement and empowers them at a young age to be proactive about health and wellness.
If you are a childcare provider and need assistance in starting this project at your facility, I highly encourage you to do your research and plan it out! Contact others who have done this and also feel free to contact your local cooperative extension office. We have guides that can help you with the designing and facilitating of these gardens

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