Let Your Children Discover the Benefits of Gardening
Do some of your goals for your children include eating more vegetables, better grades, and improved immune system? Does that seem too good to believe if I told you gardening is a pathway to all three? Well, believe it! Gardening is good for children, and they can have fun enjoying the beauty and curiosities of nature while those goals of yours are part of the menu.
Children Who Garden
Growing their own vegetables encourages children to be excited about eating them.
Playing in the dirt, (AKA gardening and growing plants), is known to improve immune response due to contact with certain helpful bacterium.(1 )
Gardening involves science, and is a great hands on way to learn more about science related subjects. (2)
Beatrix Potter books are full of stories that involve the garden, from Mr. McGregor’s busy work in the vegetable rows to Mr. Benjamin Bunny’s stroll..
What Type of Garden Is Best For Children?
Which would you like for your children?
The type of garden that matches the child’s interests is the best for them. This will vary with their age and other factors…including your own interests and what you would like to introduce to them. A garden of good things to eat is always popular, so salad gardens or herb gardens can be a place to start. Fun themes, like a pizza garden that includes all the makings of a great pizza (tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano) is one that is easy to grow and supplies the kitchen.
Do your children want to have fun with crafts? Pressed flowers from their own garden patch may be inspiration for the garden they wish to grow. Bird house gourds to carve and paint, or decorative Indian corn provide plenty of craft materials. Even grow your own dried flower supplies, and then create Christmas gifts for that year.
If you have the room, giant pumpkins might be a choice to provide a porch pumpkin in the fall- the biggest in the neighborhood! Match up your space, your child’s interests, and your own- the project might be so much fun that it will inspire a lifetime of love for gardening.
A Fairy Garden Project – The perfect plan for interesting your child
Next- just grow stuff
That’s right, some potting soil, big size seeds like nasturtiums and zinnias, or beans, an empty eggshell pot or old egg carton and you have started! Just seeing those green sprouts pop through the soil is enough to get the ball rolling.
Now you are ready to go out in the garden and plant, weed, and harvest. It’s the joy of fresh air with all the interesting things of nature right at your fingertips.
Learning about science, gardening, and being creative is all part of the Fairy Garden experience. why not order a kit or gather together materials to make a miniature garden together?
This could be one garden that is truly your child’s own. It can be a wild garden or one that is indoors, there are so many possibilities!
Be sure to watch the delightful video with children constructing an easy and charming garden from a kit.
You could easily assemble all of these things for a gift your child or grandchild will remember with joy.
Simple gardens for young children, but the age group for which this kind of project is ideal is anywhere from 6 to 12 yrs. old. Or should I say “to adult”? Since we never really outgrow the fascination with making such gardens!
Enchanted Fairy Garden Kit
Catch your child’s interest and imagination with a wonderful Fairy garden-this makes a nice starter kit.
Help Children Keep Tools Organized – With Their Own Garden Tool Set And A Tote
I have my own garden tote very similar to this one, and it is great for keeping all those different hand tools together while working and ready for storage.
A Butterfly Net – Catching butterflies on a summer afternoon
If you have a bug house, you will want an insect net to safely catch flying insects. While catching butterflies is something that shouldn’t be done to excess, there are plenty of other insects, like grasshoppers, lightning bugs, moths, etc. that could use a nice little net like this for capture.
Of course, catching cabbage butterflies, which are in no danger and prove a nuisance to many plants, might be the perfect ones to stalk with this net.
Everyone is fascinated by butterflies and this net is a safe way to catch some for a closer look. Have a roomy bug house for them and release them when the day is over.
Tips for Gardening with Children – Don’t make chores too much of a chore
- There are tasks, but try to keep garden time fun. Keep a balance, and don’t let the child’s garden become more of a punishment than a pleasure.
- Choose easy plants, nothing teaches better than success. That is what hooked most of us on gardening. Remember biting into your first homegrown, juicy tomato? Even a child can grow a pot of patio, bite size tomatoes. Easiest Plants For A Child’s Garden
- For young gardeners keep the space small… the work should not be overwhelming. You might consider container or raised bed gardens for this reason.
- Let them have fun with garden ornaments or odd types of plants… or make a toad house or fairy house as part of the project. A toad house is as simple as a broken flower pot turned on its side, a fairy house can be just a makings of bark decorated with moss or something very intricate with little plates and tiny ladders leading to upper floors.The only important thing is the fun.
- Smaller children should always have supervision and tools sized and meant for them.Consider this your one on one time together. It is surprising how fresh and new the world looks when discovering it with a young child.
- Encourage them to pick their flowers and make flower arrangements. Children delight in picking flowers and being generous in giving bouquets, the flowers all grow back at some point, anyway….whether this year or next.
- Keep a nature journal or garden journal for the growing season.Garden Journal Guide gives you the steps to making your own garden journals, and there are lots of lapbook ideas for very little children.
Seeds and Plants to Make a Child Happy
Easy flowers and veggies to grow
The first thing on the list of creating a garden experience for your children is to make it easy to succeed. Certain seeds are easy to plant, sprout quickly, and grow into a satisfactory plant.
Easiest Vegetable Seeds
Plants in the Vegetable Garden:
Easiest Flower Seeds
What are some of the easiest seeds for a children’s garden? The easiest plants to grow from cuttings? Find out!
Bright Pink Petunias
Easy Plants for the Flower Garden
Books for Children in The Garden:
Start With A Garden Book
I know, everyone is always trying to sell you something, but really, one of the best ways to introduce your children to the garden is by way of a book. Look for the kind of book written and illustrated just for them, so they can start gaining some enthusiasm for this venture of growing things.
Try one of these book choices.
Life skills are also a part of the garden experience.
One important characteristic is learning to organize, and what teaches a person this lesson better than keeping important tools together so they are handy when you need them?
Learning to keep tools together so they are easy to put away after the last task is finished is an invaluable quality to cultivate! (Ask me how I know)
A Wheelbarrow: Child size, with a grown-up design
Your child will be happy to help gather leaves and other debris into this child sized, but authentic working tool. This wheel barrow is made of steel.
Like mom and dad’s,but in sizes that smaller gardeners can best handle.
CHILDREN IN THE GARDEN THROUGH THE SEASONS
Whether the winter reading and planning, or springtime discovery and planting, summer harvests, or fall leaves, the garden is a whole year of activities, discoveries, and can be fun.
It isn’t all fun and games, of course, but there is always something to do.
There is nothing more natural than sharing your own love of tilling the earth, or at least exploring the wonders of nature in your own backyard.
When gardening we can’t help but interact with mother nature, sunshine, and fresh air.
A place for the creepy crawlies -much better than pockets 🙂
My children loved these bug houses, and now my grandchildren enjoy observing bugs and insects with the same sturdy screen houses.
Public Gardens Created with Children In Mind
Places for your gardening children to visit
A resource list of places to visit in the USA:
- Camden Children’s Garden
3 Riverside Drive Camden, NJ 08103 856-365-8733 Call to book group visits, birthday parties, and evening rentals or to schedule a Distance Learning Lesson.
- Children’s Garden- Visit
- Hershey Gardens > Children’s Garden
This amazing educational garden is filled with surprise hideaways, creatures and whimsical characters – all within 32 themed gardens.
- Sarasota Children’s Garden
A special garden with whimsical creatures, hidden mazes, playground, acting stage, costume play house and special events for children of all ages to enjoy.
- 4-H Children’s Garden Home
4 H Garden site
- The Children’s Garden
Missouri botanical Garden has the Doris I Schnuck Children’s Garden to explore; open April through October-is a place to discover, explore, pretend, search, observe.
- Children’s Gardening Program | NYBG
Children’s Gardening Program This unique hands-on program teaches kids ages 3-12 all about the joys of planting, tending, and eating fresh produce.
- AHS Internet Community Resources
National Database of Children’s Gardens
Buy It Used, and Recycle
Garden with the help of eBay.
Gardening might seem like an old fashioned activity for modern children, a throwback to a more agricultural society, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Is there anything is more pertinent to today’s world than environmental awareness? Gardening is a first hand experience of nature, and it can teach the importance of recycling, as well as something about the challenges of growing food.
Gardening also builds an inner satisfaction that comes from working with nature.
Kids Gardening Info and Ideas – more about gardening with children online
National Gardening Association offers the Web’s largest and most respected array of gardening content for consumers and educators, ranging from general information and publications to lessons and grants. Explore our Web site and discover a world…
- My First Garden – A Children’s Guide to the World of Fun and Clever Gardening
My First Garden is a children’s guide to the world of fun and clever gardening. Kids learn the basics and fundamentals of gardening and how to care for common flowers and vegetables.
- Gardening with Children: Ten Tips for Planning a Children’s Garden
10 Tips with nice photos
How to Plant Tulips – Choose healthy bulbs, plant them easily
Dutch bulbs delight children for the same reason they delight everyone: from the almost forgotten fall plantings arise the most fragrant and fantastically colored flowers after the ground seemed barren from winter’s pall.
The fact that everything is included within that compact flower factory we call a “bulb”, and the result is guaranteed for that season makes this the perfect thing to plant to excite a new gardener (or those who have yet to grow their own green thumb).
Spring Bulbs 101 for Beginning Gardeners…