A is a great way to let your kids get in on a little
bit of your fun time!
Even if gardening isn’t really your thing, set up
a small, sunny location that your little one can plant and tend to a
garden of his or her very own.
For children, gardening is a great activity to encourage kids to spend
more time outdoors and use their energy in a constructive way, while
developing a hobby they might actually keep as they get older.
The first task in establishing a is to identify it’s
Find a special place, either within your garden or
close by, that you can designate as your .
This will be an area that will belong only to him or her! Even if that means a plot
full of weeds at the end of the season, this spot is for your child to
play, and do with, as they want. (Of course, in the event that your
little one doesn’t take to gardening, the space can always be converted
back to it’s previous function the following year.)
Giving your child his or her own special place will help you for two reasons:
- You don’t have to worry about any of your precious plants getting “pommelled” by little, curious hands, and
- You’ll give your child the gift of creative freedom, and learning from actually “doing.”
While I know it’s hard, try your best to offer guidance only, and let this be
a place where your child can learn. Remember, learning sometimes means
making mistakes or doing things completely wrong!
Your child may have a completely different, maybe even impractical, way of looking at
gardening. Offer advice, but let this be a place for your child to
For example, suggest that plants be watered in moderation
as too much water can sometimes hurt plants…but if your child insists
on over-watering, then so be it! Let them discover the dangers of
over-watering for themselves.
My almost 2-year old niece had such a
great time picking the “grape tomatoes” from the plant this last August
(and eating them as she picked, of course). I told her to pick the red
ones, which she did for the most part, but then eventually found her
way to a green one or two. She took a bite of a green one, and made a
face that told me she did not like what she tasted! Sure, I could have
stopped her from picking it and putting it in her mouth, but I think she
learned much more this way, and certainly had more fun!
After picking the tomatoes, she proceeded to take several of them into her
kiddie pool, smashing them one by one, until she had a good kiddie-pool-tomato-soup thing going on.
Of course you’ll want to set guidelines with your children, but let them
have some exploratory freedom as well. We were outside, there were
plenty of tomatoes that she could play with and learn about, and while
she wasn’t going to be allowed to dump tomatoes into the hot tub, she
could certainly dump them into “HER” pool.
Try and let your children have some freedom in their garden, and they will probably end
up enjoying it quite a bit!
Once you’ve established the location of the , take your child to a garden center to select plants for their garden.
I would also suggest buying a couple of annual flowers that grow easily, such as marigolds, sunflowers or
petunias. You can buy small plants or start some from seed right in the ground outside.
If you have a trellis, or some type of object for climbing, you could plant a morning glory. This is a picture of a morning glory in late summer, trailing a picket fence.
I have always started these plants from seed right outside in the ground, however the seeds need to be soaked over night before planting.
It’s fun to watch this plant climb and produce such reliable, pretty flowers. Talk to your child, and find out which one they’d like to try, and go with that.
Depending on the preferences of your child, you may be able be able to convince them to add one of the perennial flowers into the , and teach them the difference between
perennials and annuals.
Of course, no would be complete without special tools perfectly sized for them! Hearth Song carries a large variety of children garden tools.
A is a great way to encourage your child to spend more time outside and less time indoors. Have a general idea of what your will look like, but be open to your child’s preferences and decisions.
Give them options and explain the differences to them, but ultimately let them take the lead.
Above all…and this is a biggie…HAVE FUN! This is a chance for you to spend time with your child, and watch their creativity and imagination flourish.
Enjoy gardening with your child!
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: Please be sure to use caution when
gardening with your child, and provide appropriate supervision. Make
sure there are no immediate dangers, like standing water, poisonous
berries or pesticides, that could harm them. As in the house, keep
dangerous tools and equipment out of their reach, and provide lots of supervision.
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