In today’s online world, it can be tough to get your children away from their screens. Your garden is a great place to have fun with your kids. They get a chance to get dirty. And you get a chance to teach them about food, flowers, bugs and more.
Activities for gardening with children
Here are a few ideas to engage your children in the garden.
Give them a small space to call their own. It could be a small square in the vegetable garden or a large container on the patio.
Choose things to plant that are colorful and easy to grow. Consider planting a mixture of seeds and seedlings so your child can see results sooner.
A few planting ideas: Buy some potted strawberry plants and put them in the ground. Or a sunflower seedling that may tower over their heads as it grows. Nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias and cosmos are easy to grow. Bush beans are reliable, and salad greens can be harvested for several weeks as they grow larger. Carrots grow well in containers.
Invite them to smell the flowers and taste the crops they have grown. Let them experience how much better something tastes when it is fresh from the garden. Perhaps they will want to take pictures to send to their grandparents.
Give them kid-sized tools, such as a watering can, shovel and hoe that fit their hands. Choose good tools rather than cheap plastic tools that don’t work well and break easily.
Go on a hunt for birds, bees and other bugs in the yard. This online photo guide shows and describes the many “good bugs” in the garden. Invite them to take pictures of what they find.
Rodale’s Organic Life has more ideas for gardening with children.