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Gardening with kids is a fun and productive way to spend time together,
reconnect with nature and get some exercise.
As the weather warms up, gardening is a fun way to involve the family in a project we can all work together. It is a great opportunity to grow our own food and add some nature studies into our homeschool routine.
As my family and I dive into our gardening season together, I thought I would put a mini gardening with kids guide for you.
Here are some tips that will help everyone enjoy the experience.
Benefits of Gardening With Kids
Improve your family’s eating habits. Your kids will be more excited about eating fruits and vegetables that they’ve grown themselves. The anticipation of harvesting will make them want to try new foods.
Become more environmentally conscious. TV and the internet keep kids
indoors much of the time. Working in the dirt with plants and insects is a valuable reminder about our dependence upon the wonders of God’s creation.
Reinforce a sense of gratitude. It’s easy to forget all the effort that goes into producing the food we eat if we just order it online or pick it up at the store. Even a small venture into agriculture can increase our appreciation for the hard work involved.
Get more physically active. Sedentary lifestyles put kids at risk for becoming overweight. Planting and weeding are great ways to integrate more activity into daily routines.
Gardening With Younger Kids
Let kids assume ownership. Small children will need guidance and instruction but let them take a leadership role. They can help select the plants they want to grow and the tasks they like the best. Provide lots of praise and positive feedback as they gradually assume
more responsibility over time.
Keep it simple. Break tasks down into individual steps that your child can
understand. Encourage them to select plants that will be easy to grow. Most beans thrive with little care. Plus, they’re nutritional powerhouses and the big seeds make them a cinch for kids to handle.
Provide instant gratification. Fast results will keep kids motivated. Radishes are usually ready to pick in less than three weeks. Mix in some smaller lettuce plants with the larger ones and you’ll have tender salad greens in about the same time.
Make it educational. Use your garden to teach everything from science to poetry. Planting a garden teaches nature studies at its best! You can talk about how weather affects plants and recite poems about flowers.
Play it safe. Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, so in urban areas, you may need to get your soil tested. Make it a rule that they need to ask an adult for approval before they eat any plant. Avoid dangerous chemicals and be careful with sharp tools.
Have fun. Encourage your kids to invite friends over to help. Unusual varieties of plants can be amusing, so shop around for fun seeds to get a crop of foot-long carrots, miniature pumpkins, or purple tomatoes.
Tool Sets for Gardening with Kids
Green Toys Watering Can Toy, GreenGardening Tool Set for Kids – Toy Shovel Gardening Set – Outdoor Toy with Carrying Bag – BlueMelissa & Doug Sunny Patch Pretty Petals Gardening Tote Set With ToolsLittle Gardener Tool Set with Garden Tools Bag for Kids Gardening – Kit Includes Watering Can, Children Gardening Gloves, Shovel, Rake, Fork and Garden Tote Bag-Children Gardening All in One KitBorn Toys Kids Gardening Set, Kids Gardening Tools with rake, Kids Gardening Gloves and Washable Apron Set for Real or Sand Gardening and Dress up Clothes or Role PlayKids Gardening Tools – Includes Sturdy Tote Bag, Watering Can, Gloves, Shovels, Rake, Stakes, and a Delightful Children’s Book How to Garden Tale – Kids Garden Tool Set for Toddler Age on up.G & F 10012 JustForKids Kids Garden Tools Set with Tote hand rake shovel trowelKODATEK Kids Gardening Set, for Real Planting or Sand Gardening 16PCS Contain: Sprayer, Shovel, Spade, Rake, Magnifier, Tray, Planting Bag, Gardening Tool Suitcase Little Gardener Tool, Amazing GiftKids Gardening Set – Outdoor Toys with STEM Learning Guide – Easter Basket Gifts Includes Tote Bag, Spade, Watering Can, Rake, Fork, Trowel.Kids Garden Tool Set, Geyiie Outdoor Yard Gardening Toys with Child Rake, Shovel and Trowel, Apron, Sleeve for Boys/Girls/ToddlersFITNATE Green Kids Garden Tools Set,6 PCS Garden Tools Including Watering Can, Shovel, Rake, Fork, Children Gardening Gloves and Garden Tote Bag, All in One SetNature Bound Toys Kids Garden Tool Set with Planters, Water Bucket, Rakes, Caddy, 9Piece Set
Gardening with Older Kids: Get Your Tweens and Teens Involved!
Let older kids guide younger ones. Middle school and high school students can be great role models and instructors for small children. The interaction is inspiring and gratifying for both sides.
Challenge veteran gardeners to set new goals. Horticulture will become a way of life for many kids who have the benefit of early exposure. Keep it stimulating by supporting them in developing new skills.
Go gently with new gardeners. If your teen is new to gardening, they may feel tentative about doing anything that would make them seem different from their peers. Until there’s a reality show or video game to make growing plants officially cool, tread carefully.
You might want to start with herb gardens. They’re easy and practical and can even be kept indoors. There is nothing like food cooked with fresh herbs from the garden! This is a great opportunity to encourage your tweens and teens to become chefs.
Gardening with your kids will strengthen your relationship and may even help you cut down on grocery bills. Help your kids get an early start on appreciating nature’s bounty and draw your family closer together with these timeless traditions.
Ready Get Our Hands Dirty & Feet Muddy?
Gardening with kids can be a super fun way to enjoy enjoy some good weather outside and enhance your homeschool learning while growing your own food.
This is a great opportunity for the younger kids to learn about a plant cycle and for the older kids to the learn responsibility to grow our own food.
Nothing is wasted when it comes to start a garden in our backyard. Gardening can become a fun family project, strengthen your connection with your kids, and teach them so many great lessons!
There are great books about gardening with kids available on Amazon. I have selected a few of my favorites here for you. This way the gardening fun is brought inside for extended learning.
I can’t wait to see what you and your kids will be gardening this year!
Gardening With Kids Books
Gardening with Emma: Grow and Have Fun: A Kid-to-Kid GuideTrees, Leaves, Flowers and Seeds: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Plant Kingdom (Smithsonian)We Are the GardenersGrow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables (Discover Together Guides)Easy Peasy: Gardening for KidsUp in the Garden and Down in the Dirt: (Nature Book for Kids, Gardening and Vegetable Planting, Outdoor Nature Book)Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your GardenGardening Projects for Kids: Fantastic ideas for making things, growing plants and flowers, and attracting wildlife to the garden, with 60 practical projects and 500 photographsNo-Waste Kitchen Gardening: Regrow Your Leftover Greens, Stalks, Seeds, and More (No-Waste Gardening)Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z (Voyager Books)Square Foot Gardening with Kids: Learn Together: – Gardening Basics – Science and Math – Water ConseLola Plants a Garden (Lola Reads)Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the OutdoorsIn a GardenA Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All AgesTwo Little Gardeners (Little Golden Book)Let’s Get GardeningGrandma’s GardensMy Garden Journal: A How To Garden Book For KidsGreen Thumbs: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening (Kid’s Guide)Grow HappyThe Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having FunOh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments for the Yard, Garden, Playground, and ParkEddie’s Garden: and How to Make Things GrowI Can Grow a Flower (Life Cycle Board Books)The Little Gardener (Teenie Greenies)From Seed to PlantGrow Your Own for KidsA Seed Is Sleepy: (Nature Books for Kids, Environmental Science for Kids)Edible Colors: See, Learn, EatPlant the Tiny SeedThe Vegetables We Eat
Nature Study Books for Kids
The Julia Rothman Collection: Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, and Food AnatomyFirst Lessons in Nature Study (Yesterday’s Classics)Nature Journal: A Kids Nature Study JournalNature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural WorldHandbook of Nature StudyCurious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific NorthwestNature Anatomy Notebook: A Place to Track and Draw Your Daily ObservationsThe Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and ClassroomsHow to Teach Nature Journaling: Curiosity, Wonder, AttentionThe Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and JournalingExploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the OutdoorsTheNature Journal For Little Explorers: Kids Nature Journal/ Nature Log Activity Book; Fun Nature Drawing And Journaling Workbook For ChildrenPocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Ana is the unhurried homeschool mom of 3, wife, and homeschool blogger.
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