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In autumn and early winter there are lots of flower bulbs for sale in our supermarkets and gardening shops. They are not expensive, and they're easy and satisfying for children to grow. Growing bulbs will teach them a lot about what plants need in order to grow.
The most common flowers grown from bulbs are daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Each of these come in lots of colours and varieties. Have a look at the pictures on the packets, and talk together about which ones to choose.
You can plant the bulbs just under the soil in a garden, or in a flower pot. The wider end of the bulb will generally be at the bottom. If you plant the bulbs outdoors, the shoots probably won't come up until spring.
Or try growing bulbs indoors on your windowsill with just water to feed them. If you plant them in a clear glass or plastic container, your child will be able to see the roots develop as well as the shoots. Follow these instructions from Buggy and Bunny.
Don't forget to wear gloves as some bulbs can produce skin irritation.
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
When you’re out and about with your child ask them to recall little things that happened on previous trips. For example, “Do you remember what we saw here yesterday?” This helps your child to recall, listen, speak and to become more aware of their surroundings – good skills for listening and speaking.
But remember, to listen well, first let your child finish what they are saying. Avoid too many questions that might interrupt their train of thought. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Concentrate on what your child is saying. Check with them that you understood, for example, “So what you are saying is…”
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