If you are looking for interesting projects to share with your visually impaired child, starting a garden may be a wonderful idea. Not only is gardening a very hands-on activity, it can help your child connect with nature in a brand new way. If you want to see how gardening can be a great opportunity for learning within your household, consider the following.
An Introduction to Plants
While your child may be aware that plants grow, having a garden can let them experience it through touch. They can feel how each one changes over time as it approaches maturity, as well how various fruits and vegetables develop from the plants.
A garden can also help demonstrate the differences between different plants, such as the size and textures of their leaves, or the scents of the flowers. Having a nice variety of plants allows your child to experience what makes them different, as well as what makes them the same, in a way they can experience more fully than just from a book.
Along with the introduction to plants can come an exploration of soil. This can include information on how plants get their nutrients from soil, and what materials help make a soil more nutritious for them. In fact, it can be a great time to introduce the concept of composting to your visually impaired child. Yimby makes a great tumbling composter that is easy to use, allowing your child to participate in the creation of food for their new plants.
You can also explain how to tell if a plant needs water by touching the soil and seeing how wet or dry it feels. If your child has an aversion to getting dirty, even having them touch the surface with a fingertip can provide a lot of information, and can serve as a basis for further exploration as they become more comfortable.
Homegrown Healthy Food
If you focus on planting fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you can explain ideas behind healthy eating along with taking pride from what they helped grow for the family. You can explain how the tomatoes from the garden helped make the sauce for the spaghetti, or the lettuces became a salad for everyone to share.
By helping your child connect the plants that are growing in the yard to the food they are eating for dinner, you may find them more inclined to try new foods and flavors. A blueberry may seem strange when it is pulled from a package at a grocery store, but may seem more comfortable when it is removed directly from the plant.
You can also close the lesson by explaining how the food scraps, after spending time in the compost bin, will go back to feed the plants some more, leading to more fruits and vegetables.
As with any new idea or sensation, it may take time to get your visually impaired child comfortable with some of the new sensations. Make sure to move slowly, and connect as many pieces together as you can along the way. This can help turn the garden into a whole, single experience instead of a series of disjointed steps, which may provide an additional level of understanding into your child’s world.…