As we say hello to May and goodbye to April – we prepare to Dance into Spring here at Dance Exploration with our new Preschool Dance Theme for May! May is our last month of the regular school session with Summer biting at our heels – and it’s sure to bloom a whole new world of exciting dance games as we end another wonderful year of dancing!

With Spring, comes the hope of new life. Birds return from their flights south, trees blossom their beautiful, fresh leaves and flowers, fruits and veggies blossom into their fruitful and glorious existence. As we celebrate this coming of new life before Summer Fun- we have a month of fun dance games based on May Flowers, Bumble Bees and Butterflies and Gardening planned….that’s what we hope to spring into life today- the fun and abundance of learning to be had when you take the time to garden with your kids!

Gardening teaches a plethora of important life lessons and skills:

Gardening for the Senses

Senses are a blaze in the Garden. The touching of dirt and soil and comparing it’s texture to that of grass, weeds and rocks. Seeing the vibrant colors of fruits, vegetables and flowers and plants that grow intertwined into a beautiful rainbow. Smelling the flower’s sweet perfumes compared to the vegetation smells of compost and dirt. Tasting of fruits, vegetables and plants that grow- and comparing them. Hearing the sounds of watering plants, buzzing of bees, and fluttering of butterflies as dirt is sifted and dug away making room for more plants to grow. Awaken those senses and start planting!

Gardening to Teach Responsibility

With gardening comes great responsibility. Like pets, plants are living beings that require elements to stay alive. They require the perfect amount of sunlight, water and nutrients in the earth to grow. Children will learn the importance of watering the plants to make sure they continue to grow, as well as repotting or planting when a plant has outgrown it’s bed. Pulling weeds will also become important so they do not take away the growing plant’s nutrients. Children will learn if plants aren’t properly cared for, they will not grow, or will die.

Gardening Teaches Patience

Patience is a virtue, and with gardening, it is very important to understand that the growth of a plant can take a while. Over exposing the plant to elements such as over watering or over exposure to sunlight as a means to make the plant grow faster, could have negative effects on the successful growth of the plant. It can take 2-3 months for a full flower to bloom.

Gardening improves Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the ability to grasp and maneuver objects with your hands. From holding a small shovel to till soil away and plant seeds in the dirt. To holding and aiming the water hose or pails. The ability to grasp and pull out weeds will also be an important skill.

Gardening Enhances Organizational and Planning Skills

Children will learn the importance of where and how to plant flowers, fruits and vegetables in a garden so that all can prosper and grow. Different plants grow best during different times of the year and how long those plants take to grow.

Gardening Teaches Science

Without even knowing it, children are participating in the scientific process as soon as they plant their first seed. They can begin to hypothesize what will happen next and the steps that need to transpire. THe more they garden they will understand that some plants require less water, or more sunlight and vice versa to bloom and grow. Gardening teaches important lessons in botany, biology, and chemistry.

Gardening Teaches Math

From measuring soil and counting seeds to measuring the height of different flowers and creating charts and graphs. There are also different shapes in the garden. It’s a great lesson geometry.

Gardening Teaches the importance of taking care of the Earth

Gardening can be a great time to introduce important environmental topics such as recycling, pollution, and reducing the use of plastics and non-biodegradable items. You can also create your own compost out of raw materials and discuss the reinvention of items that are commonly thrown away.

Gardening for Bonding

Gardening is a fun activity the entire family can enjoy! Turn off the electronics and trade it in for some sunlight and outdoors fun this summer!

Gardening for Healthy Eating

Children may have a hard time eating the fruits and veggies bought at the grocery store. What better way to get get them excited about eating their peas and carrots than by growing them themselves. Plus, they can be pesticide and GMO free!

Turn it into movement!

Get moving with your kids and turn your gardening lessons into a dance experience. Start off as tiny seeds (lay down and get as small as possible). Have a sibling or parent water you (reach high to the sky and sprinkle fingertips on your back), and shine sun on you (reach high to the sky and pat your back). You Grow – (come to standing). Your feet get buried in the dirt (hands pat on your toes) and become your roots. Next you get thirsty and drink with your roots (tap your toes). You grow a leaf (stand in passé) and put on your flower petals (arms over head).

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