Gardening With Kids
Fun and simple ways to let your kids plant, too
If you're tired of chasing your kids away from "helping" you in the garden, then why not let them have one of their own? Kids love to learn, and a garden can help them learn about plants while letting them create their own paradise.
If you're a homeschooler, you can make a child's garden part of their classroom - the lessons never stop in a garden, and it's a fun and relatively inexpensive way to teach your child about botany and the natural world.
Creating a Child's Garden
- Start by choosing a safe site for your children to plant their garden - it shouldn't be near any water features or dangerous spots in the yard. If you live in an older house, have the soil tested for lead, since paint used on older homes often contained lead.
- Once you've determined a safe site, dig the flowerbeds in an interesting shape. Include height in the garden - sometimes, you can create little rooms with trellises and climbing plants so that the kids have their own playhouse. If you don't have the room to dig another garden, you can have your child try container gardening.
- Plant big flowers and small, colorful vegetables. Giant sunflowers, carrots, and radishes are always big hits with young children. Flowers that smell sweet and attract butterflies and birds can also add to the kid gardening experience. Try planting sweet-smelling, edible herbs and plants to provide meals for a tea party or game of house. Allow your children to choose their own plants - this will give them a better sense of pride and ownership. Show them how to care for their plants and create a calendar for them that tells them when it's time to water and weed.
- If you are so inclined, give them their own gardening tools as a gift. Kids' gardening tools are often colorful and are designed for little hands; plus, yours won't go missing or get wrecked by overenthusiastic gardening.
Gardening is an excellent opportunity for you and your child to bond. Not only are you helping your child develop a better appreciation of the natural world; you're also helping her stay fit, happy and healthy. Gardening is a great way to help your child learn - and if you're lucky, your child might help you with the weeding, too!