Gardening with kids is something I don’t have much experience with. I have plans on getting my 5 year old nephew playing in the dirt with me this year but beyond that, it’s not something I’ve been able to experience. Many people ask me for tips on the subject and while I can make suggestions, I don’t know if any of it would really work. I turned to Ann from SumoGardener.com to help shed some light on the subject.
Kids are always curious to learn new things and love playing in the dirt. One of the best activities to feed a child’s curiosity is gardening. It gives children an opportunity to learn some of the most important skills in life: getting food! It also increases awareness of nature, the environment, and weather: all while having fun!
If this is your first time gardening with kids, the tips below will surely help you and your children to make gardening fun and exciting!
The first thing that you need to do is to provide some lessons to the children about gardening, age appropriate of course. Encourage questions to help keep their interest. A great idea, if you have space, is to make a patch that is just for them. Letting them keep a journal to write down the things they’ve planted and the progress of them over time. Not all kids will enjoy gardening but they will enjoy spending time with you!
Kid Based Gardening
After explaining what gardening is, now is the time to show them! Explaining as you are planting the first few seeds helps them see how it’s done, but always make sure to not do everything for them! Let the kids provide ideas and help them with constructing the plan and planting the seeds. Let them learn how to be responsible when it comes to caring for the plants in their garden patch.
Since you will be gardening with your kids, it is advisable not to use anything that is based on chemicals. Make gardening fun for kids and safer by not incorporating any products that have harsh or man-made chemicals in them. It would also be ideal to assess the soil for any lead and contaminants before letting the kids start their gardening activities in there. Getting bagged soil lets you skip this step.
For people who don’t know, kids are more willing to eat vegetables and fruits that they have planted themselves. Most kids today don’t like to eat vegetables and fresh fruit and letting them plant these foods will make the kids want to try and eat them. You also need to make sure that the kids will be the one to harvest the plants.
Gardening Kits and Tools for Kids
There is gardening equipment that is perfect to be used by kids. Normally sized garden tools are too heavy for little arms! You can, of course, assist them but if possible, get some garden tools made for kids that will fit their hands better and keep things fun!
Not everyone has the space or time to be able to have a garden patch dedicated to their child to learn with. That doesn’t mean you have to be left out!! There are several tabletop options, too! There are garden kits specifically for kids to learn with and they can choose either food or flowers to grow.
Let Kids Experience Wildlife
Teach the kids the importance of adding bird feeders and maybe a birdbath in the garden. Animals will visit your garden no matter what! Tell them that these animals are not good to be near your plants, which is why adding feeders may help.
You can also create a small fishpond for kids to get to know how the fish and plants work together to make a little ecosystem!
Decorating the Garden
Lastly, let the kids help you when it comes to decorating the garden. There are a lot of ways to decorate your garden, and the best way is to choose something where their creative skills will be enhanced. Of course, guiding them along and supervising is a good idea! Decorating the garden can help them learn the skill of thinking ahead – if your decorations inhibit plant growth, you are being counterproductive!
I’m Ann. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening. This is a subject I enjoy the most. I have been a fan of flowers and plants ever since I was a kid. My blog: http://sumogardener.com