Gardening with kids is a wonderful way to connect with your child and teach them about where our food comes from. Teaching kids to garden gives them something to do outside of the house (off the screens!) and teaches them valuable skills that they can take with them into the future.
There is nothing more exciting than watching a little green sprout pop up out of the ground after spending time carefully providing it the necessities for life. Additionally, this helps children learn about healthy food, and after they have put all the effort into growing their garden, they will be more inclined to actually eat those colorful and fresh vegetables.
Let’s look at some ways to make this fun and bring gardening into your kids life.
Take the pressure off
One of the hardest things for me about gardening with my children is just letting them make a mess and plant things wherever they want to. Often as adults we want to have everything just so, with our vegetables planted in neat rows. Once you provide some space for your children to garden, you will need to let this go and take the pressure off of both you and your child. We want gardening to be fun for them, so let them be free to design and choose the garden of their dreams.
Watching your children learn to garden can be a wonderful growth opportunity for us as parents as well. It helps us see things from fresh eyes, relax into a more disorganized garden space, and enjoy gardening from our child’s perspective.
Provide their own space
In order to help keep the pressure off, and keep that garden frustration to a minimum, it is often best if we have a little space that is just for our children to learn to garden. This can be as simple as a pot on your balcony, a small area in your flower garden, or a corner of a larger in-ground vegetable garden depending on how much space you have available. Try growing some of these easy annuals to keep your kids interested.
If you do decide to give your child some space in your in-ground garden area, you could make it fun by using colorful stakes or rocks to show the boundaries of their area. Once you have portioned it off, let your children be free to plant seeds or put in new plants and seedlings that you have provided in whatever manner they feel like doing it. Who knows, maybe you will learn something from them!
Keep a reminder indoors
It can be hard to remember to water and care for the garden that you planted outside when there is no clear visual reminder inside. Print off, or have your children design, a garden reminder list and post it somewhere that they will see it, in their bedroom or on the fridge to help them remember to get outside and look after their garden. This list could include things like, remembering to water each day, fertilize every Thursday, and pick weeds on Wednesday.
Having a routine around gardening can also help your kids remember to look after their space. Maybe for your climate going outside first thing in the morning and watering and picking a few weeds is the best way to care for their space. Think about what will work best for your schedule and climate and work it into your daily routine. There are so many skills that children can learn by looking after a garden of their very own.
Decorate and add color
At the beginning of the season, a garden plot can be quite boring, and things move so slowly that kids can start to lose interest. Have them design some bright objects to put in their garden space such as painting rocks to look like ladybugs, sunflowers or strawberries. Look at this post from Empress of Dirt about how to paint strawberry rocks for your garden!
You can also purchase a few larger vegetable plants from your local greenhouse to help get a headstart on things, or add some flower starts to the garden to instantly add some color and give them something to look after while they wait for the seedlings to pop up.
Planting from seeds is exciting and definitely cheaper than buying from the greenhouse, but if you have the resources available you could choose to buy started plants from your local greenhouse to make your kid friendly garden more interesting right from day one. Your children will love putting the larger plants right away into their garden and helping them flourish.
Let me know below how you are adding gardening into your kids life!