A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening With Kids

A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening With Kids

Just before we got married in 2008,  we were offered an allotment. Shocked but excited we signed up and arrived to another blank canvas of a brand new allotment.

 

There was nothing except a muddy field and a few sheds. It was daunting, but now, after 3 children and a lot of ups and downs we have a flourishing allotment where we enjoy sowing, growing and spending time together.

Getting out in the garden and growing something together is a really fun way of helping your child to get some fresh air, excercise while they learn more about the world around them. Sowing seeds and looking after your plants and flowers helps your little one start to understand about life and death, life cycles, maths, science and where food comes from.
A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids

No Garden??

You don’t even need to have an outdoor space to enjoy gardening with your little one, a great way to introduce your child to gardening is to plant up a window box with herbs that can be used in cooking. This way your child can watch their seeds grow and see how useful they can be.

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids

If you do have a garden, why not give your child their own area to plant with whatever they like?Just make sure to pick a plot that gets plenty of sunshine, Let them choose what to grow and offer help but try not to interfere. Let them experiment however they wish. So what if nothing edible comes from their plot? they will flourish just by learning what they learn.

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids
Picking Peas

Here’s A Beginner’s Guide To

Gardening With Kids

An easy way to start with kids is to grow micro leaves from quick-sprouting seeds suck as beetroot, cress, mustard or spinach so that your little ones can see the results of their hard work quickly without much waiting around. You could also use sunflower, cress and salad seeds. Why not try making a cress caterpillar with some yogurt pots and cress.

Just fill the yogurt pots with damp kitchen paper and sprinkle on the seeds. Keep these damp but not water-logged as they grow. Once you have growing sprouts, make a line of pots and decorate the front one to look like a caterpillar face. Easy peasy.

 

To keep kids interested, It’s important to

Stimulate the senses

Don’t just plant your garden for pretty colours. Try planting to appeal to all your senses. The garden is a great way to stimulate your child’s senses of touch, sight, sound, taste and smell – soft flowers, rustling bushes and plants that have a strong smell and bright colours all help to give your child a fantastic gardening experience.

You could also look at 26 ways to connect kids with nature.or if you can’t get out why not try bringing nature indoors?

Use Child sized tools

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids
Watering my garden

Nothing will put your kids off quicker than letting them struggle with over sized tools. If your little one really loves getting out and about in the garden it can be helpful to buy a set of child-friendly mini-tools that they can hold easily. A little watering can, hand fork or a trowel can really help build your child’s sense of independence as well as their physical movement and fine motor skills. Check out 7 essential tools to get you gardening with kids  for more ideas on useful equipment for gardening with kids.

Keep it Fun!!

Some kids LOVE gardening and let’s face it some Hate it. Little ones don’t have a huge attention span so be prepared to make gardening activities short and easy for younger kids.

There are plenty of ways to get kids excited about Gardening, although to begin with it can take patience. Nothing will happen over night but you can do some activities to fill in the waiting time for seeds to grow. Such as; digging for worms, making a compost heap, fill pots of soil with bedding plants from the garden centre. You can also involve them in watering the garden, picking daisies for a daisy chains, or floating some flowers in a bowl of water for the dinner table.

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids

Try to have 4 or 5 short activities that you can change between each time your little one starts to lose interest. Have a look at some of these activities for ideas.A wheel barrow is great fun to be pushed about in and a small watering can will provide lots of fun either watering the plants or making puddles to stomp in.

Suggestions

  • Make plant labels to mark where your plants or seeds are.
  • Have a bug hunt and look at how bugs and bees help us by pollinating the plants we grow.
  • Make a compost heap together and talk about the compost process. 
  • Ask them lots of questions and do your best to answer theirs.
  • Watch a bean sprout and grow by planting it in a glass jar with some wet kitchen paper. Watch it sprout and grow roots.

Ready to get to it??

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids

Try not to get too hung up on getting dirty with your kids. I try to make sure I have shower suits for them to wear so they stay clean, or you could set aside some old clothes as your little one’s ‘gardening clothes’. Working in the soil is messy and children love it, so try not to worry about it.

Safety First!!  Don’t forget sun cream and sun hats. Even on days that aren’t particularly sunny little ones still need skin protection – especially in the middle of the day.

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids
Happy Sunflowers

Remember to take photos or draw pictures in your nature/gardening journals of what you grow with your little one. Perhaps take pictures at each different stage so you child can look at the photos from seed to plate or vase. Something like a sunflower or a pumpkin works really well to show your little one how amazing the process of gardening can be. Why not try these sunflower seeds. They’re Huge!!

SUNFLOWER – GIANT Yellow 3 metre plus – 40 seeds

Create a nature journal

To help you  Garden with your kids I have designed a FREE Ebook for you to download. It explains a bit more about seed sowing and different activities to try with your little one. Try a few things in there and let me know how you get on. You could send some pictures to the Facebook page or just drop a comment. Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

A Beginner's Guide To Gardening With Kids

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9 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening With Kids”

  1. I love this! I am so excited to put some of these tips to use next spring. My little one is only a couple months old now. I especially love that you are allowing the children their own plots, which I think really helps them learn independence and confidence.

  2. I remember being assigned to grow a garden in school when I was 7 or 8. I worked on it all summer. Most of my plants died. The one thing that grew was a tiny watermelon. At the end of the summer, I was supposed to harvest whatever grew. I picked that watermelon thinking I was going to eat something I grew myself. But when I turned it over, I found the whole bottom of it had been eaten by some sort of animal and it was inedible. I was pretty disappointed.

    1. Oh dear that wasnt the best start was it?? Im sure it had more to do with the lack of guidance that your ability but its a shame to deflate a child like that. How do you feel about growing now? Has it affected you giving it another go??

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