All Photos Angela Johnson Photography
WSU Extension Garden Education Series
These classes are free and open to the public. They will be held at the Waterfall Classroom of the Demonstration Garden 1620 S. Union St. in Kennewick, or in the adjacent library if inclement weather.
- April 28th 1 pm / Choosing Tomato Varieties
- May 24th 6 pm / Gardening 101
- June 28th 6:30 pm / House Plant Hints
- July 26th 6:30 pm / Solving Garden Problems
- Aug 9th 6:30 pm / Seed Saving for Adults & Children
- Sept 13th 6:30 pm / Herb Hints
- Nov 3rd 1 pm / I Dig Dahlias
5 Reasons for Children to Visit the Demonstration Gardens in Kennewick
Fresh Air and Sunlight
It is no secret the healthful benefits of Vitamin D for children, but even just being out in the open, fresh air can shift the mood for the better. The warmth of the sun and the feeling of a cool breeze provide multi-sensory stimulation that children find refreshing and exhilarating. It’s good for mom and dad, too.
Color and Variety
The demonstration gardens at Grange Park in Kennewick are beautifully landscaped and offer families a variety of plants, including types of gardens such as their Japanese garden, rose, and formal garden. Children learn to observe beautiful flowers while learning that there are boundaries when you say “Don’t pull the flowers. Let’s just look at them. ” Colors make us feel happy! Why do you think we send flowers to people who are sick? In addition, Children begin to notice the difference between the way the grainy dirt, the smoothly paved path, the soft petals of the roses, the prickly bushes, etc. all feel.
One thing that the park and garden offer that electronics typically do not is the opportunity for quiet observation. Visitors can hear the quiet sounds of birds chirping, or leaves rustling in the wind, or the way their feet crunch in the gravel as they tromp across it. In Autumn, they can grab fallen leaves by the handful and listen to them crinkle up in their hands – all of this without the distraction of a background soundtrack that so often accompanies electronic games and movies.
Take advantage of this time you’ve made to appreciate nature and just exhale some of the stress of your day. Think of this time as hitting the reset button. How has your day been going so far and how would you like the rest of the day to turn out? Our thoughts control how we feel emotionally and so really try to use this time for positive thinking and retrain your thoughts to be upbeat and positive when needed.
Freedom to Explore
One of the easiest and safest ways to give your children a little bit of control in their own lives, which is critical for their developing self-esteem, is to give them the freedom to explore the outdoors. Encourage them to take the lead for a change. Tell them, “Show me where to go. I’ll follow you.” Children will feel a sense of empowerment and your relationships will grow when you let them take the lead in exploring.
You can play “Show and Tell.” Have your children find the most beautiful spot and lead you to it, then tell you all about it. Let them choose where to go and what to see. Your children will soon look forward to this time because they know it will be a special time for them as you let them practice leadership and good decision-making in a safe environment.
Unplugged Quality Time
Set a schedule for unplugged, quality time and do your best to stick to it. It isn’t just when you are taking your children out in the stroller to go for a jog. This time is different than the rest of the day because it is for them and only them.
Your children may not know how to express it well, but they will notice when you are unplugged and giving them your undivided attention and it will pay you back in dividends because if your children know that they get your full attention at regular times each day, even if you only have fifteen minutes, they will know that they are getting what they need and will be able to be calmer during times of the day when you have other work to do.