Children are naturally curious. When they see you gardening, they’d love to till the soil with you. No wonder you're wondering whether gardening with kids is a good idea. When they look at you blissful while watering your favorite plants, they, too, would like to share a splash.
Gardening with kids can sometimes be tedious though. Things can go out of control, and you may have to deal with the mud kids create instead of just the weeds in your plots.
Moreover, gardening with your kids around can be the most fulfilling time you can have together. You can turn the pure fun that they want into a learning experience they can treasure for a lifetime.
If you have kids at home that would love to plant seeds with you, here’s a list of gardening tips to take advantage of their volunteerism, curiosity, and love of nature.
1. Provide For Each Kid A Small Plot
Whether you’re giving them a space in the backyard, a raised bed, or a little planter, each of your kids would love to have his or her own plot. Be sure to set these garden beds in the middle of the home garden, and your kids would enjoy being at the center of the action.
Gardening With Kids: What They Love In A Plot
- Each one has his own space
- Each plot has a nameplate or name tag
- Colorful fences
- Garden markers to indicate their crops
- Nobody’s plot is more prominent than the others
Make sure their garden beds get the best of sunlight and air. In their own little way, they’re quite serious about their gardening project, especially once you have set for them their individual plots. Make it a goal to let these young ones achieve gardening success.
2. Give Them Real Tools
Real gardening tools for children do exist. If you hand your kids small, plastic or fake ones, you might get them frustrated once the tools get broken. If you give them real gardening tools, you are boosting their confidence. It gives them the message of trust, and they would love to be responsible little gardeners in return.
Gardening With Kids: Must-Have Tools
- Good-gripping gloves
- Watering can
- Garden Hoe
- Gardening clothes
Small versions of a real round-point shovel, garden rake, leaf rake, and garden hoe are available for order. They are not like “play” tools you can’t use for anything real in gardening. Find ones that are made up of the same materials as adult tools but are small enough to fit your kid’s hands.
Gardening with kids can sometimes have serious aspects. Choosing the right garden tools for children is just one of them.
3. Plant Veggies Together
Your kids would love to grow plants they know, especially plants they eat. If your children love eating cherry tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and pumpkins, they would be just as excited to plant as to eat these veggies. Start off with the easiest veggies to grow!
Best Crops For Children To Grow
Gardening with kids becomes easy with the right choice of veggies to plant together. Consider the following fast-growing crops.
- Snow Peas
- Bush Beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are among the most fun crops for a child to plant. With the children watching or assisting, prepare stakes that are 2 feet tall. Use seedlings, plant them in full sun and add lots of compost. Let the kids imitate what you do and let them get their hands dirty. Have them do the watering up to ground level. As the seedlings grow, let the little ones tie them loosely to the stakes. They’ll surely be excited about the coming harvest!
4. Start From Seeds To Harvest
When you give your kids a chance to experience the entire process of gardening, they will come to appreciate plant life more. Early on, they begin to see the connection between proper care and healthy growth in nature. In fact, many activists on environmental health have been exposed to gardening early in their childhood years.
While for some plants like cherry tomatoes, you may better begin with seedlings, it is best to let your kids witness how a seed becomes a seedling. Let the kids plant pumpkin seeds, for instance.
Pumpkin Planting With Kids
Grow pumpkins with your kids in a small hill. The seeds will sprout in just about one week. You’ll love to watch your children’s eyes widen once the vine leaves form and creep along the ground.
After at least 80 up to 120 days, the pumpkins would be ready to harvest. Surely, kids will love to tap one to check if it sounds hollow on the inside but hard on the outside.
Assist your kids in collecting the pumpkins. Let them join you in cooking their meat and roasting their seeds!
5. Let Your Kids Draw Pictures Of Their Plants
Kids are young natural scientists. They love to observe changes, especially with plants they’re caring for and are trying to grow. Encourage them to make a daily or weekly log of drawings of their plants.
Gardening With Kids: Ideas For A Garden Journal
- Create a personalized gardening journal for each child. Add garden coloring pages.
- Include little reminders on the first few pages. These could be gardening basics or a list of gardening goals.
- Add a calendar to help kids look forward to the harvest time.
- Make it customizable so you can add more pages later.
- Give space for plant observations and drawings.
- Insert boxed checklists so your children can tick on them while checking the health of their plants.
You can also buy them books about the plants they’re growing. They would entirely be delighted to know more about these plants. Let your kids compare what they see in their books with what they observe from their vegetations!
6. Care For Some Wildlife Together
Wildlife can be such a valuable commodity to the garden. Some of the animals that would love to visit your garden are as follows:
These are welcome visitors and would help a lot in bringing more life to your garden. More than that, they can keep unwanted pests at bay.
Furthermore, the presence of wildlife in your garden can bring extra joy to your kids, too. Care for these precious animals together, and your children will have more reasons to enjoy gardening with you.
7. Let Your Kids Grow Indoor Plants
Gardening is not limited to growing plants in your front yard or backyard. Your little ones will appreciate it more if you would teach them about growing plants within your home. Just as you have spared a garden bed for each of them outside, let each have an indoor plant to grow and care.
You can even allow your kids to select their planter or particular container, decorate these with shells, buttons, or mosaic tiles, and do the potting and aftercare. Design a plant craft for toddlers. They can work on the craft while doing indoor gardening.
Also, you can even encourage your children to grow a plant for someone else. By doing so, you will have brought more meaning to indoor gardening. Your kids will undoubtedly be more inspired to grow their plants well!
8. Be Proud Of Your Kids’ Work
When friends visit your home, you got to show off the gardening work of your little ones. Your children would love to have their work appreciated and valued. You can even have your friends harvest some of your kids’ veggies and try them!
Meanwhile, you can also make a table centerpiece out of what your kids have grown. Most centerpieces are flowers in a vase or basket. You can pick the ones your children have grown in your home garden. Alternatively, you can also set fresh vegetable produce in your table. Highlight those which your little ones have successfully harvested!
Gardening With Kids Can Be Truly Rewarding
When you turn fun into an educational experience, it will be more worthwhile for your kids and more rewarding for yourself. The next time your kids beg of you to let them help you with gardening, don’t just let them, but encourage them all the more by following the tips discussed above. Your children will grow not only plants but also a genuine passion for gardening.