How can gardening help your kids improve their reading and listening skills?

Now that Spring is here get your kids involved in outdoor clean-up
and planting activities.
·         Involve them from the beginning.  Have them pick the seeds (flowers or vegetables) they would like to plant.  Remind them that they can’t plant until they have read the instructions first.  
·         Let them have their own spot in the garden to dig for worms, catch bugs and prepare the soil.
·         Get them their own kid size garden tools to work with you.
·         Let them have their own space to plant the seeds they picked.  They are to read on how to plant them and how much water is needed, etc.  They can be responsible for caring for their part of the garden.
·         Create a picture journal marking each step of the journey.  Sit with them every day and write, draw and take pictures of what is happening in their garden.
·         If the child is smaller and does not know how to read show them either pictures of instructions if available or simply speak out the instructions and have them repeat it back to you.  Repetition improves their listening skills.
·         Keep some of the seeds they are planting outside and plant them indoors (they are to read the instructions again or repeat the process to you to see if they paid attention) in a clear plastic cup or container so they can see how the roots are formed and experience the miracle of growing something.
·         If planting vegetables encourage them to eat their own creations!  How cool is that!
·         Lastly and most importantly make it family time and have fun gardening whatever your child’s age is.  Encourage the love of nature and gardening.
Note: You can incorporate reading lessons and instructions in your everyday duties.   When you see the opportunity to read seize it!  Promoting literacy while doing your normal activities will get kids more involved instead of making it a chore (since they won’t realize you’re actually making them read or teaching them).
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