With Spring here and gardening season right around the corner, we want to give some gardening tips to those of you with little ones involved! Gardening with kids doesn't have to be stressful - it can a fun learning experience for everyone. Check out these 11 tips for gardening with kids below:
1. Anyone Can Garden
You might feel intimidated by gardening - watching all those influencers on Instagram with their greenhouses, insane backyard, and romantic lifestyle doesn't help. But the truth is - gardening is easy, and anyone can do it! You don't need a greenhouse, fancy equipment, or even a ton of sunlight for some plants.
A lot of leafy greens and other crops grow in indirect sunlight, so if you have a yard full of shady trees, you're not doomed. And you truly can garden anywhere; just find fruits and veggies that flourish in your area! There are options for cold, warm, dry, humid, and everything in between.
2. Let Your Kids Choose A Plant They Want to Grow
This part is huge for involving your kids. You want your kids to take ownership of the garden, and in order to do that, they need to have their own space or plant. Give them a few options and let them pick a crop to own themselves.
Of course, depending on how old your kids are, they probably won't be able to take care of their plant all by themselves. But allowing them to take most of the responsibility for their crop is character building and rewarding.
3. Get Your Kids Their Own Tools
When I was a kid, gardening became so much more fun once I got my own tools. Get your kids small tools that fit their little hands, their own gloves in a style they like, and possibly a gardening hat they can wear when they help with the garden. They will have so much more enthusiasm about gardening the more ownership you give them!
4. Cook with the Produce You Grow!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but cooking with your produce (and more importantly, feeding it to your kids) is a crucial step in gardening with your kids. Serving your kids the fruits and veggies their grew not only is a reward for their hard work, but it's healthy and teaches your kids "good things come to those who wait."
5. Include Your Littlest Ones Too
Tailor your gardening experience for your child's age - no child is too young. For kids in grade school, giving them specific chores or tasks each day can be fun, and it teaches them responsibility. For preschool age children, have them help you with tasks while you do them (like weeding, watering, or planting the seeds). For sitting/crawling babies, let them play in the dirt under your supervision to get some good time in nature. And for infants, strap them to you and get outside!
6. Turn It Into a Learning Experience
The science behind gardening is SO fascinating, even for me! As you garden, teach your kids about photosynthesis. Describe why seeds need water, soil, and sunlight to survive. Discuss the scientific differences between fruits and vegetables. And if garden science intimidates you, maybe it's time to brush up on some botany yourself!
7. Cultivate Good Habits with Your Kids
Gardening is the perfect opportunity to develop good habits as a family. A garden will force you to get everyone outside for at least 30 minutes a day. Having chores like watering or weeding can also teach your kids work ethic and reward for hard work. During harvest time, you can discuss as a family what you're thankful for each time you gather produce. There are dozens more opportunities to cultivate good habits surrounding gardening - do what works for your family (and what challenges you!).
8. Choose Plants That Grow Quickly
Especially for younger children, seeing progress early on is so important. Plant seeds like snap peas that grow quickly (and in almost any condition). Your little one will be able to see the reward for their effort early on, which will encourage them to be patient with the other fruits and vegetables you plant together.
9. Incorporate Craft Activities
Looking for more creative activities to do with your kids? Create garden-themed crafts to fill your time and invest in your garden even more. Design customized labels to stick in the ground, showing what each garden row is growing. Paint a birdhouse with your kids. Decorate pots for your plants as they grow larger. Get creative and have fun!
10. Grow Things You Can Eat Raw
Kids love being able to walk out into the garden and eat straight from the vine. Plant fruits and veggies that are easy to eat and tasty for your kiddos! Cherry tomatoes, snap pees, and carrots are great options - they are sweet, snackable, and easy to harvest.
11. Give Your Child Freedom in the Garden
We mentioned this above, but it's important to give your child ownership in the garden. Allow them a plot on the garden they can tend to all on their own. Or let them pick out the plants you grow each year. Don't try to control their messes - if they do something wrong, let loose and let them learn.
Those are all the tips for gardening with kids we have today - before you go, make sure to check out our best products below for gardening this spring!
^^ As you start your gardening journey, you'll probably accumulate a lot of tools, seed packets, and supplies. Organize them all in an easy-to-transport, durable Caddy!
^^ Gardening with babies can be a great opportunity for some tummy time in the sun. Lay your baby on one of our buttery soft Quilts to keep them safe and comfortable outside.
^^ After gardening time, your babies are probably going to be a bit dirty. Our Hooded Bath Towels are perfect for keeping your baby safe, dry, and warm after bath!