Time to plant

8 - 10 years
Everyday ways to help your child with literacy and numeracy
Mother and daughter gardening

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

No matter how large (or small) your garden, it's full of opportunities to grow your child’s vocabulary, strengthen their reading, and cultivate their calculation and data skills. Here are just a few ideas:

  • have conversations about garden projects

    Lots of people in this area have mini gardens in pots. Let's go for a walk to see what plants are growing well, and decide if we want to make our own pot garden.
  • use rich vocabulary when talking about gardening magazines, books and television programs

    That's a very formal garden style, isn't it! Do you like all the straight lines and edges, or do you like a more informal style, like a cottage garden?
  • ask your child to help when you are researching plants in garden books, plant labels, and seed packets

    Check the seed packets to see if these flowers are good for a shady situation in clay soil. They need to be frost tolerant too.
  • use rich language to describe plants 

    At first glance these weeds resemble the good grasses, but you can distinguish them by the shape and texture of the leaves: they are more pointy, and very rough. 
  • read and follow instructions together

    These flatpack planter boxes should be pretty easy to put together, just like your building sets. Let's start by reading the assembly instructions.
  • make lists of jobs to do in the garden

    How often do we need to fertilise the tomatoes?

    When can we start harvesting the passionfruit? 
  • ask your child to help calculate areas, distances and volumes

    We need to know the area of this garden bed so we can decide how many plants to buy. Let's measure the length and width and work it out.

    These seedlings should be planted 30cm apart. How many can we fit in this row?

    For each square metre of garden, the label says we need one cap of fertiliser in one litre of water. Let's work out how many square metres we need to cover.
  • record data about your garden

    Let's make a chart of how many capsicums we harvest each week.

    It's very interesting comparing our rainfall records to Nan and Pop's records, because our climates are so different.



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Last modified
7 April 2020