Gardening benefits kids’ health and well-being as well as their attitudes towards learning and the environment. It captures their interest, gives them a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and introduces them to healthful foods. From helping you to mulch and pull weeds at age 3 to garnering active and engaging connections to science, math, and nutrition as they get older, kids will benefit from the nurturing experience of gardening for years to come.
Check out these ideas on how you can get your kids involved in gardening.
Put seeds in numbered containers. Mark each section of the garden with the corresponding location.
Let children dig holes for the seeds. Give them a ruler so they know exactly how far they need to dig down.
Use an adjustable water wand on the gentlest setting.
Demonstrate holding the wand high enough and slowly moving it back and forth to avoid mudslides and puddles.
Avoid using watering cans until seedlings begin to emerge.
Have your kids make a fun design in the dirt with the rake.
Have a raking race. The first one to make her/his area the smoothest, wins!
Have your kids see how many different sizes/colors of rocks they can find while raking (this will keep their attention).
Harvest with kid-size scissors. Using scissors, cut lettuces and greens just above the soil. Also use scissors when harvesting berries or other fruits and vegetables with thin stems.
Let the kids rinse freshly picked produce to remove the dirt and debris. Use a deep container filled with cleaning water. After you pick each ripe fruit or vegetable, allow them to clean it. Change water when it becomes extremely dirty.
Use a twig, stick, or small branch to "draw" the garden design in the soil.
Draw the design by sprinkling white play sand.
Use carefully placed pebbles, gravel, or small stones to create the outlines of your shapes.
Create markers with each fruit and vegetable labeled on them. Allow your kids to mark where they would like to plant each fruit or vegetable.