Gardening With Kids!
If you’d like to grow delicious fruits and vegetables and make great memories, garden with your kids (or grandkids)! This is also a terrific way to teach our future generation basic survival skills—knowing how to grow our own food is a skill like no other.
If you don’t have a garden yet, have the kids help choose a location. This can be a very involved activity which starts by monitoring the location of the sun throughout the day. It might be handy to write down various areas of the yard (where the garden could go) and then track how much sun that area gets and at what times.
It is a good rule of thumb to make sure every plant can be reached by the kids without causing harm to other plants (if you have an in-ground garden, this may mean having designated walking areas, and in a raised-bed garden, have the plants be no more than a reach-distance away).
NOTE: Six or more hours of direct sunlight is considered “full sun.” This is important when deciding what plants need full sun and which may not.
TIP: Be sure there is a nearby water source. You can trek the water to the garden, but for convenience, having a water spigot nearby will make gardening a little easier.
Our best tool is our hands… and what kid doesn’t like to get dirty? But what’s handy are kid-friendly garden tools such as trowels and hand rakes. Kids are also excellent waterers so make sure you have a watering can or even a gallon jug with holes poked through the lid for them to use.
To keep kids safe, be sure they have applied sunscreen and perhaps are even wearing a hat and long sleeves. It’s also important for everyone working in the garden to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Children will enjoy looking back and seeing what they planted in prior years by keeping track in their very own gardening notebook. Be sure to date their entries, and if they can write themselves, have them enter the information.
Some ideas to include in their notebook are what seeds they planted, what the weather is like, and maybe even a drawing of the garden.
Kids love playing and what better way to teach them about the garden! While they might expect their plants to sprout immediately, you can teach them patience by playing a round of Garden Bingo, I Spy, or 20 Questions. Gardening with children is also a good time to bird-watch and to teach them about bugs!
NOTE: To pass the sloooow growing time the plants may have, you can build a scarecrow for the garden. This will be a fun educational activity that they can keep their eyes on all year long!
Of course, you can grow anything you wish, but below is a list of a few plants that might help ease the kids into gardening:
- Sunflowers - Not only do these flowers bring a little sunshine to your life, but they also can tower over the kids, which might be fun! It’s neat to point out that sunflower plants follow the sun during the day (this is known as heliotropism). We highly recommend planting sunflowers that produce edible seeds (confection types) for extra enjoyment!
- Snap Peas - Kids can eat these right off the vine! They typically germinate in 10 days and are ready to eat in less than two months.
- Radishes - This is a great plant because they grow so fast! It’s fun to see them pop out of the soil when they’re ready.
- Marigolds - These are one of the easiest plants to grow (which is why a lot of pre-schools and elementary schools grow them in class). Marigolds also make great garden companion plants.
- Cherry Tomatoes - These are just perfect for tiny fingers! Let the kids guess how many each plant will grow and watch it happen!
- Sweet Corn - A historical vegetable with so much taste! When they are ready to harvest the kids can pluck them and shuck them!
- Pumpkins - What a great way to transition into fall! It will be fun to point out to the children the different sizes and colors as each pumpkin grows.
While gardening with kids sounds fun, it might not always be. Kids are impatient, they don’t always listen, and sometimes they just don’t care. We encourage you to keep up with your child on their gardening for at least one season to give them the chance to see that hard work does pay off.
Gardening with your kids can be educational and fun! Remember, they are learning too. Sometimes things don’t grow and sometimes animals may make off with your hard-earned harvest, but how you handle those situations and learn from them (refer back to their handy-dandy gardening notebook), can cause not only your garden to flourish but your relationship as well.
Visit our site if you need some gardening assistance - CropHut.com