is nothing more delightful for a child than planting a seed and watching it grow
to something beautiful or something to eat. Gardening is one of those timeless
activities that all ages can enjoy together. It's a great way to spend quality
time as a family. Your children will need very little persuasion to come play
in the dirt. You will find them eagerly lined up ready to go if you follow these
few simple ideas.
Make Gardening Child Friendly
Let them do activities appropriate to their age - three and four-year-olds will love digging in the dirt, putting plants and seeds in and watering. Elementary age kids will enjoy helping plan and pick what goes in the garden along with the planting. They can weed and help maintain to some degree. For the ten and up crowd, gardening can also be a science and math adventure as they get involved in measuring the gardening area, learning about composting and making sure plants have the proper sun and nutrients.
Let your child have a spot of his own.
Plants That Grow Easily
It also helps to have vegetables or flowers that grow quickly. Children tend to be impatient and want fresh veggies the day after planting! Radishes are an excellent choice - it can be planted early and grows very quickly. Peas, green beans, lettuce and baby carrots are all vegetables that grow quickly. For quick results in the flowerbed use already started plants from a nursery. Flats of flowers and veggies produce results kids can see right away. Plant sunflowers. You can see them grow almost daily.
If you don't have a yard to plant a big garden don't let that stop you. Herbs, cherry tomatoes and other miniature veggies will grow in a container as well as in the ground. You can buy strawberry hanging baskets that do the trick too.
Pick A Theme
Gardening is a hobby you can enjoy through all its many stages
- spring through fall. Let some plants go to seed and harvest the seeds for next
year's garden. But remember, no matter what you and your children decide to grow
it's the fun and excitement of actually being together and making something special.
Whether you plant cherry tomatoes on your back porch, prize winning marigolds
in your flower bed or green onions - the time you spend together will grow and
blossom into something that will endure after the last bean has been picked. And
isn't love and togetherness the best thing to plant in your garden after all?
Belinda Mooney is the mother of seven children and editor of www.learningtreasures.com and www.childrensrecipes.com.
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Robyn's Nest ~ Gardening with Kids