Guest Post-Andrea Pommer

I have found a kindred spirit on the internet. She’s a home daycare provider in Indiana that gardens with her kids too! I have been so excited to find a handful of other people who have a passion for teaching their kids to grow food. Andrea has been so supportive and helpful to me as I started this blog. Now she is sharing a post with us. I’m so excited for you to read it, check it out!

Kids and Worms; The Perfect Mix for the Garden

Over here at my daycare home, we love calling ourselves ‘urban farmers’, but honestly, what is a farm without animals? Though we have been expanding our gardens year by year, we have not yet added those rabbits and chickens that we long for. However, while we wait for the right time for ‘real livestock’, our animal of choice is…WORMS!

Making or buying a worm bin and getting it established is a perfect way to include kids in the garden. And here are some reasons why:

1. Kids. Love. Worms.

2. Worm castings are an incredible addition to your garden beds. Filled with nutrients and beneficial microbes, the castings help your plants grow big, strong, and more able to fend off pests and diseases.

3. Kids get to see how compost works, and how plants come full circle–veggie scraps become nutrient rich compost that then helps grow new seeds into new plants.

4. Worms are a commitment, but an easy one. Kids will be introduced to taking care of ‘livestock’ on a tiny, low-risk scale.

5. Did I mention; kids love worms!!!


Though there are simple plans online for making your own bin, we took the easy, albeit more expensive route, and purchased a ready-made bin. Since the bin came with everything we needed (except the worms, which we ordered separately), it was less intimidating for us to give this whole worm thing a try.

Now that we are quickly gaining knowledge about the workings of a worm farm, I feel more confident that we could definitely make one from scratch.

There are some days we go all day without even checking on our worms, but inevitably each afternoon someone will want to have a peek, dig their hands gently into the bedding, and pull out a healthy worm or two. We feed them once or twice a week (too much food is a bad thing, we discovered, as it will attract lots of mites), we make sure the bedding is moist but not soaked, and for the most part, we leave them be to silently work.

Our first harvest of worm castings will not be ready until late August at the earliest, as it takes a few months to get a good enough amount to collect. At that point, we will be able to harvest a new batch every couple of months. What we don’t use in the cold months on our indoor plants will come in handy next spring when our soil is ready for some nutrition and new planting!

To see how we faced and defeated our first challenge, click here. It was really not so hard!

Guest Post written for Little Sprouts Learning Garden by Andrea Pommer
Andrea blogs at


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

Guest Post-Tracy Hinton

Here is an article written by my friend Tracy who also does family child care on the other side of Oklahoma. Good information for anyone starting out or providers who need to tweak the way they are running their business so it will go more smoothly. Thanks Tracy for sharing with us!

Tracy wrote:
All family child care providers should have policies and a contract in place in their business. These protect both the child care provider and the parent. They establish what the provider and the clients can expect from each other. In Oklahoma family child care providers are required by licensing regulations to have established business policies. The contract and the policy should be two separate items. The contract is often a one page document that establishes the amount and when the child care provider will be paid while the policies may be longer and in much more detail. Establishing your contract and policies will be one of the most important steps in your business success. Establishing your contract and policies will be one of the most important steps in your business success.

The contract should have a section listing the child’s name, the provider’s name, days and hours that child care will be provided, and an area for the parents and provider to sign and date. Some providers put an ending date on their contracts, others do not. You may also wish to add a sentence that by signing the contract the parents agree to abide by the policies that you have established.

The policy section can be as simple or as detailed as you like. An online search will help you see some samples and you can also ask other child care providers in your area what they put in their policies. However, make sure that you meet the requirements set by Oklahoma child care licensing in your policy. The following is taken from the Licensing Requirements for Family Child Care Homes and Large Child Care Homes.

1) the location and accessibility of the licensing compliance file;

(2) days and hours of operation, including holidays the program is closed;

(3) procedure for:

(A) receiving and releasing a child from care, including a method of verifying the

identity of a caller or person who picks up a child;

(B) notifying parents if a concern exists when a child does not arrive as scheduled;

(C) handling illness and injuries; See Supplement VI, Injury Report Form – Sample.

(D) storing and administering children’s medication;

(E) notifying parents of field trips; and

(F) transporting children;

(4) care of ill children;

(5) mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect; and

(6) behavior and guidance policy.