Now is a great time to get outside and get gardening with your kids, letting them grow their own veggie garden. Not only will they get to enjoy some healthy foods at the end, it will also help them with things such as responsibility, self confidence, creativity, co-operation and an appreciation of their natural environment.
The key is to keep it a fun experience for your kids, allowing them to dig and explore their environment and if they get dirty, so be it! Here are 7 tips for gardening with kids!
Don’t plan to build massive garden beds that are going to take a lots of time to set up and keep maintained. Give each of your children a small patch of their own, big enough to grow a few plants, but small enough for them to easily maintain and not lose interest.
Let them Help Plan
Talk to them about what they would like to grow, allowing them to choose their own plants for their little plot. Ask them about the foods they enjoy eating the most and they need to make them. Maybe they like pizza and would like to have a pizza plot. They could grow their own basil, tomatoes and garlic and once picked, they could create their own pizza for tea one night. This 2 ingredient pizza dough would be great for this. Then work out where you are going to place your garden. Is there going to be enough sunlight for the plants you wish to grow?
Let them get Dirty
Buy them their own set of gardening tools and let them get dirty. I tend to purchase proper tools for our kids as the child ones tend to break too easily and this can ruin the fun. Your kids can help prepare the soil, dig the holes and place the seeds in the ground. If a trellis is needed, let them help with that too.
Get Creative with Labelling
Labelling your seeds is definitely needed. How else are you going to remember what you planted? Kids can make their own labels by painting rocks or wooden spoons. Or making their own plant markers with paddlepop sticks.
In warmer weather, this activity can be turned into such a fun game. Many times our children have finished up just as wet as the garden.
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Time to Harvest
Our boys really enjoy helping with harvesting. After encouraging them to try certain vegetables raw, I have found that many times, a lot of our harvest doesn’t make it into the house. Our boys now know when certain vegetables are ready and often pick them off for a snack while playing in the backyard.
A great way to encourage learning is to document everything. Create a garden journal to keep track of your garden, what you planted and when you planted it. The kids can draw a picture of their garden in their journal once a month as something to look back on and see how much the plants have grown. They could also write in stories about the animals they saw while looking after their gardens or the history of the plants they have chosen or even the recipes they want to make once their plants have grown.
Here is a list of some easy to grow crops to start you off.
- snow peas
Do you have any more tips for gardening with kids?