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Jr./Sr. Kindergarten: An Exercise in Delayed Gratification: Planting Tulip Bulbs in Our Children’s

The weather beckoned to our Kindergarten classroom on a Tuesday afternoon: crisp and sunny, with a gentle breeze. How could we stay inside on such a perfect autumn day? Luckily for us, a fun fall activity was planned: planting fifty yellow tulip bulbs in anticipation for spring and putting our children’s garden to bed for the year.

The kids enthusiastically participated in this outdoor activity. Half the group went to the courtyard with one teacher to collect pine needles for mulch. The sight of nine kids laughing, racing about and tossing pine needles in the wheelbarrows was charming to say the least. Cries of: “Look how much I can hold!” and “This is the best afternoon ever!” could be heard clear across the playground.

The other half helped pull herbs and flowers from the garden. A discussion quickly came up between the children of which plants were easy to pull up and those that took a lot of strength. This inevitably led to comparisons of plant root systems.

After a quick trip to the compost pile, we were ready to start planting. Children took turns helping spread out fresh soil and digging holes. Then we examined a tulip bulb and talked about how tulips grow. The kids exclaimed amongst themselves that waiting six months for our tulips to sprout was going to take FOREVER!

Finally, each child took a turn placing tulips (pointy side up!) in the holes and gently covering them with soil. The grand finale of this afternoon project was spreading our pine needle mulch over our children’s garden. Big smiles, rosy cheeks, and lots of dirty hands all around made for a good day’s work!

“A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature.”

-Maria Montessori

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