Pumpkins on trend this October for children in child careOctober 17th, 2018
It is October and for us in Australia, this means a growing trend (thanks to our friends in the USA) to celebrate Halloween and the fun and festivities that surround this event and this includes pumpkins.
Already children are planning and plotting their costumes and activities on the 31 October (which is good because a bit of lead time is actually appreciated for a busy working mum!)
But did you know it is also the perfect time in Australia, to plant pumpkin seeds ready for a delicious Autumn harvest?
This is a great activity for children in child care. The excitement of watching the seeds sprout and vines crawl along the ground is enough to entice any young child to want to sample the finished product – a magnificent pumpkin of course!
Try this easy and hands on activity at child care to get into the spirit of pumpkins, Spring and eating healthy seasonal produce:
Plant your own pumpkins
This activity will grow pumpkins from seed.
You will need to obtain the following items from your local nursery so be prepared:
You will need:
- A packet of ‘Jiffy’ pots – these are biodegradable pots that are planted directly into the ground (or large pot) once your seedlings have germinated and are big enough.
- A large pot (one to three Jiffy pots per pot) or a garden bed to plant your Jiffy pots directly into – you will need this ready in about six weeks’ time.
- Some pumpkin seeds (unless you have dried out seeds yourself – purchase these from your local nursery)
- Seed raising mix
- Gloves for the children so they can help
- Watering can
- A sunny spot by the window
- A tray to put the Jiffy pots into while they germinate
What to do:
- Set up your Jiffy pots in your tray
- Fill each pot with seed raising mix and pat down so it is firm
- Put your pointer finger into each pot up to a child’s second knuckle (or perhaps their whole finger if it is a little finger), and pop a pumpkin seed into the hole. Cover and gently pat down.
- Once all pumpkin seeds have been planted – water well from the watering can and place on the window sill in the sun to grow.
- Every couple of days check on your pots. If the outside of the Jiffy pot looks dry, give it another water. Make sure you don’t let your pots dry out too much – they like water 😊
- In about 14 days (depending on the temperature), the seeds should start to germinate and sprout – this is the exciting part! You and your children can watch the germination process day after day as the seedlings grow bigger and bigger.
- Once the seedlings are big enough to fill the Jiffy pot, dig a hole in your garden bed or big pot (filled with potting mix) and plant the pot straight into the hole.
- Water well and keep in a sunny position. Enjoy watching your pumpkin spring to life and weave its vines around your centre until pumpkins start to grow.
Alternatively, you could get enough Jiffy pots for every child in your room and once germinated, your child could take their pot home to grow in their own garden! (keep one of the pots for your room too of course).
Let us know how you go by posting a picture on our Facebook Page or commenting below. We love pumpkins and healthy fresh food here at Hearty Health.
For more information on Hearty Health or to book a free tasting of our delicious meals, please contact us here.
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