Lauren, from Grow, is here as my guest today, giving us some hints on getting our children involved in gardening! She studied horticulture in college, and shares her “expertise” about plants and her journey with gardening on her site. Be sure to browse her site!
Kids soak up whatever you expose them to, so get them in the garden this summer and make growing things fun! Here are a few easy tips:
Give them space of their own. My girls were each given a small row of the garden to plant whatever their little hearts desired. Of course they were drawn to the pretty flower packets over the veggies, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to beautify the garden too!
Read the back of the seed packet together and demonstrate the proper planting methods, talking about measurements, spacing, and depth. They will think it’s so cool!
Of course the best part is seeing their own plants sprout and grow! Maddie was so delighted when her marigolds popped up. We have yet to see the flowers but I’m sure it will be a happy day!
Involve them in the harvest. My girls love, love, love peas. They are so excited when the pods form, and when it’s harvest time they ask multiple times a day if they can go pick peas. There must be something magical about opening the pod to find the sweet little spheres inside.
Cook together! Show the kids where the veggies go after harvest. When they see the process from garden to table, they will be more excited to eat them! Above is a pasta salad we have been making that I learned at Girls’ Camp. Put noodles, veggies, meat, cheeses (parmesan and feta are delish), and ranch dressing in a gallon bag and shake it up! It’s also fun to let kids choose what toppings they want and make their own in small sandwich bags.
Identify plants. Talk about the names, shapes, and colors of each plant, and they will remember! Case in point, we recently visited an Aunt and while checking out her garden, Ella exclaimed, “There’s the carrots!” I guess I figured she knew where ours are in the garden because of the placement, but she recognized the leaf shape enough to identify it somewhere else.
Search for bugs. This is the best part. Apparently sunflowers attract ladybugs and my girls love finding the ladybugs and letting them crawl all over them until they take flight.
Search under and around leaves and you never know what you’ll find! Act like a kid yourself, and loose a few minutes watching and ant crawl around.
Occasionally you’ll find something spectacular, like this dragonfly that let the kids hold it! Now that’s something they will remember.
Thanx so much, Lauren!
Do your children like gardening?! Are your children involved? Any hints YOU have for us?