Guest Written by – Whitney from MIgardener
Gardening with Kids!
What kid doesn’t like to play in the dirt? I know mine do! I take advantage of this by getting them involved with our garden.
Getting kids excited about gardening
The following tips will get your kids excited about the gardening bug, and once they are bit it is contagious!
1 . Plant kid friendly varieties that are easy to grow like Bush beans, pumpkins, peas, lettuce and sunflowers, fast maturing crops like radishes, spinach, and greens that provide a quick return to keep them interested, and snack-able vegetables like cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries are great to allow your kids to snack right from the garden which is always fun.
2. Plant what you know they will eat. If you child loves to eat what they grow they will be more encouraged to be in the garden and want to see their food grow.
3. Have competitions. Pumpkins are my kids favorite plants to grow. We make it fun by seeing who can grow the biggest one!
4. Keep your kids involved with every step. By starting seeds indoors kids can keep a close watch on the plants growing process from seed to harvest.
5. Take a field trip to a local farm, greenhouse, or conservatory. When visiting a local greenhouse let them pick out their own transplants. This will have quicker results than starting from seed. It’s fun to see their smiles when they eat the food they grew themselves.
Make it fun!
The following 5 tips will keep the garden seen as a fun thing and help them to keep their interest.
1. Give your child their own area to plant in. Whether it be their own garden or a small section in a large garden.
2. A chart to keep track of watering and maintenance (weeding, pruning, fertilizing) teaches responsibility and gives a sense of accomplishment.
3. Get them their own tools. Gardening gloves, hoes and hand shovels. My boys say this makes them feel like real gardeners. Their favorite garden tool to use is the Stirrup hoe, here is a video reviewing the stirrup hoe!
4. Let your kids make their own plant markers. Decorate Popsicle sticks or painting rocks can be a fun activity to do together. Make it a family activity.
5. Remember – Many hands make light work! My kids lose interest if they are out in the garden alone. It can feel more like a chore than a fun thing to do. So get outside and get your kids excited about growing their own food!
See you in the garden- Whitney