We will teach you some top benefits of gardening with kids. Growing a garden with your kids is more than just a good time. It serves as a science experiment and a lesson on cultivating your food while also imparting valuable life skills. Along with developing children’s curiosity and observational abilities, gardening fosters a sense of responsibility, self-confidence, teamwork, and creativity. Many parents find that gardening with their children propels them to eat a healthier diet since they get to consume the food they grow. Additionally, it balances your child’s emotional growth and develops kindness, compassion, and appreciation in them.
The benefits of gardening with your kids include the following:
Gardening is a fantastic way to instill responsibility in your children. It takes effort to tend to a plant’s demands. They must remain committed and make daily trips outside to feed, water, and de-weed the plant. The plant can only reach its full potential with proper care.
It may take some time for your child to adjust and start to see gardening as a responsibility rather than a burden. If this happens, don’t be disappointed. If they aren’t interested, there’s no need to push it, but keep in mind that the lesson is not complete until they see the fruits of their labor at the end of the growing season.
Know-how of Food Origin
Understanding the origins of our food is critical to developing respect for the environment and its resources. Children can fail to grasp the significance of preventing food waste. They will, however, gain a fresh understanding of why the earth’s resources are so essential once they witness how much labor t takes to generate food.
During these activities, how parents communicate with their children is quite important. Discuss alternative food sources, the people involved in the food production process, and the reasons for food scarcity, as you work in the garden.
Children are inevitably curious. Growing plants is an excellent way to both stimulate their interest and teach them new things at the same time. You can find yourself discussing various topics, including photosynthesis, worms, fertilizer, plant cycles, or even the significance of composting. This will assist kids in learning about the flora and may influence their decision to pursue a career in horticulture or botany.
When you garden with your children, you have a wonderful chance to teach them about plant life cycles and how they relate to sustainable living.
Together, start a compost bin and discuss how you may utilize it to nourish your plants.
Gather rainfall and utilize it to hydrate your vegetation. While you wait, educate your children on the advantages of supporting regional farms or growing your own food. Feel free to apply this discussion to other areas of your life, such as litter-picking, recycling, and reducing food and water waste.
There is no disputing that waiting for plants to grow can be difficult. However, your children will also take pleasure in following the development of their plants week after week. It could not be easy initially, but the excitement will increase once you start seeing sprouts. They will then be able to see how the plants develop. Make sure to go over each step with them and urge them to continue feeding and watering their plant as necessary. If you worry that your children won’t have the patience for a more challenging one, choose crops that grow quickly, such as radishes, onions, micro greens, lettuce, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and some flowers.
Plan and Organize
Those who frequently garden, know, how time-consuming and artistic planning and organizing a garden can be! You need to know when certain flowers bloom, how long a seed takes to develop into a vegetable, and the ideal time to plant seeds. Children’s planning and problem-solving abilities are improved when they are involved in this process. Additionally, it improves their organizational techniques, which they can use in every aspect of life.
Immune System Strengthening
Most children enjoy getting their hands dirty, and gardening is the perfect activity for that. However, playing in the garden can provide some positive health effects in addition to the simple enjoyment of getting dirt under your fingers.
According to theories, letting your child play in the soil can strengthen their immune system and lower their risk of allergies and asthma. Although there is no assurance, it is an excellent excuse to let your kids play outside where there is some mud and sunlight.
Gardening is a good way to increase one’s self-confidence. Children who continuously work so hard to build their garden may have self-doubt, but once they realize how gorgeous it turns out, happiness and self-confidence will rise.
Children are highly sensitive and kind. They will develop a bond with the plant they are cultivating. They need to understand the effects of not taking care of the plant. They might make it a point to follow the standard gardening procedure once they are aware of this. They will gradually begin to learn how to be responsible, and before long, it will become their second nature.
Gardening is an excellent way to get started learning about science, especially biology and chemistry. Kids get interested in the future when they sow their first seeds. They develop their theories and daily assess the development.
Kids are being taught the fundamental steps of the scientific method without them even being aware of it. As children age, they discover how water and sunlight affect a plant’s growth. They discover which plants want more sunlight, which requires less water, and how quickly they grow. Gardening is a fantastic way to learn science at home!
The benefits of gardening, how it might enhance your child’s well-being, and how spending time in nature can make you happier, more centered, and fulfilled have all been the subject of several studies.
One study discovered that spending two hours a week in nature had a considerable positive impact on mental well-being and another looked at the relationship between happier moods and sunlight. This provides additional proof of the benefits of spending at least a few hours each week in the garden for your general mood, health, and well-being.
Studies deduce that adults who garden in their older years live longer.
Gardeners leave the house and move about in nature rather than leading a sedentary lifestyle. Teaching constructive habits to young children will increase their likelihood of maintaining them throughout their lives.
With your child, plant some seeds for a garden today, and watch them enjoy the rewards for the rest of their lives.
Enjoy Gardening With your Kids
you will learn some kid-friendly gardening strategies and practices and vegetable planting steps with children.
Are you prepared to begin raising your children? Kids’ first gardens will be successful if they plant these vegetables. They taste great, grow quickly from seed or starts, and are tough. These veggies will make it simple for your kids to plant, care for, and reap their delicious rewards.
- Say, “Peas!”
Kids love snap peas because they allow them to see the fruits of their labor more quickly than many other plants. They are also crunchy and sweet, making them excellent as raw snacks or cooked as a meal component.
Planting time for snap peas is in the early spring. They are a fantastic choice for introducing kids to gardening because they thrive best in cool climates. When still young, the pods can be eaten raw off the plant, shell, and all. Once the pods have set, they ripen swiftly.
Teach your child to shuck the pods when they are bigger. This is a terrific opportunity to discuss their day and fun family activity with your child.
- Bean Hunt
Green beans, sometimes known as bush beans, can produce an abundant harvest from a single plant for several weeks with just enough watering. Children enjoy going out to the garden to collect their part of beans for the evening’s dinner because they are equally delicious when eaten fresh and cooked as a side dish.
- A Carrot surprise
Kids find carrots fascinating because of the mystery surrounding them: they can see the leaves, but the carrot is buried beneath the ground. Teach your children how to spread carrot seeds around the pea plants’ bases. The first carrots will be ready for harvest by the time the pea plants have completely withered down. Heirloom carrots can be planted in various hues, such as yellow and purple, to increase the harvest’s element of surprise.
- Tiny delicious Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are a tasty delicacy best enjoyed while still warm from the sun on the vine. You could find that ripe tomato never makes it to your kitchen after your kids figure this out. Tomatoes come in a huge variety, so even if you have a large garden, you might want to put some in pots on your deck or patio so that you always have some on hand to add to salads or to nibble on. Children may easily eat cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes right off the vine because they are small and come in red, yellow, and orange. Additionally, they are sweeter than their bigger counterparts.
- Royal Radishes
Radishes are easy to grow, don’t care where you plant them, and don’t require much care. You’ll notice the first sprouts in just a few days and in 30 days— or sooner if you consume them young—they’ll be ready for harvest. They have an intriguing flavor that kids should sample and will continue to grow throughout spring, summer, and autumn.
- Pumpkin feast
Pumpkins have lovely, large, simple seeds for young children to plant and sprout. Early in the spring, you can start them in tiny pots on your window sill, but you’ll need to plant them outside with plenty of room because the vines can quickly take over. You’ll need to be patient, but if you remember to water them (kids love watering the garden), by the end of fall, you should be rewarded with some large pumpkins, which may be used for so many fun activities!
- Cool Cucumbers
Cucumbers are a crisp and reviving fruit, especially in a hot summer. The fact that they become elongated makes the kids curious about them. Have a competition to see who can grow the biggest cucumber among all of your gardener children, or measure all of the cucumbers that emerge from the garden to make it a little game for them.
- Boss Broccoli
Even though not all children enjoy broccoli, those who cultivate it themselves are considerably more inclined to consume it. Broccoli is simple to cultivate and doesn’t have a particularly long growing season, making it a wonderful vegetable for youngsters to try even if it isn’t their favorite. Additionally, you need not worry about allocating a sizable portion of your garden to it.
- Sweet Corn
Even though cultivating sweet corn is not the easiest task, the effort will be well worth it if you are successful. The corn eaten immediately after being picked from the garden is the best. The entire family will ant some because there are many different ways to prepare corn, including fresh on the cob, salads, pasta, rice, and much more.
Gardening is always a learning process, and introducing a more challenging plant will undoubtedly teach you and your children a lot about the variables that influence the success of your plants.
Easily Start a Vegetable Garden
You may create a beautiful garden that will give your kids numerous hours of entertainment and education by employing tried-and-true techniques and using repurposed or up-cycled items. They might even be inspired to eat more vegetables as a result of it.
- Select the appropriate location
Select a spot for the garden where there will be lots of sunshine, space, and easy access to a hose or other water supply. To minimize erosion, look for a leveled spot.
- Choose your vegetables
Depending on your environment, space, preferences, and experience level, decide which products to add. Consider some simpler vegetables, including lettuce, carrots, beans, cucumbers, and peppers, for kids.
- Make the soil ready
Add compost and organic fertilizers to your garden to prepare the soil for your plants. You can buy bulk specially formulated soil yourself or garden supply businesses can test your soil’s acidity and suggest additives.
- Look up the planting season
Because the ripening cycles and growing conditions differ based on the plant and the season, it would be ideal if you didn’t sow all the seeds at once. On seed packets, you can find planting dates. Before making a schedule for your gardening, go through the optimal conditions for each vegetable you intend to plant.
- Sow the seeds
Pay close attention to the spacing and depth when planting your seeds or seedlings.
- Adding water
Spray the garden lightly to maintain consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Get a spray nozzle for your hose so you may give your garden a little mist of rain.
- Keep weeds away
The most efficient method of weed prevention is mulching. To prevent weeds from encroaching on your vegetables, use a layer of organic mulch in your garden that is 2 to 4 inches thick. If weeds occur in the garden, pull them out completely by grabbing the roots at the bottom of the stems.
- Fertilize as necessary
To maintain the soil fertile, gently till it by hand and add fertilizer.
You can buy pre-made plant fertilizer or make your own by mixing ingredients such as Epsom salt, fish tank water, eggshells, and kitchen scraps.
- Reap what you sow!
Vegetables should only be picked when you intend to utilize them while they are still young and sensitive. As soon as root crops are large enough to eat, harvest them. Cut leaf crops to 2 inches or less and then gather them. Enjoy your harvest at last!
Growing your fruit gives you all the enjoyment of gardening and the deliciousness and nutrients that can only be obtained from homegrown harvests. The following simple fruits demonstrate how easy it might be to grow your fruit:
- Exotic Strawberries
Strawberries can grow nicely in pots but expand and reproduce significantly from year to year. So, if you have enough room, you can grow a much larger strawberry patch. Just be sure to limit the margins at some point to prevent them from encroaching on your entire garden. These tasty berries are perfect for picking up right from the plant as a snack for kids.
- Crazy Blueberries
Typically, blueberries are found on bushes that, with time, can grow taller than any family member and produce copious amounts of this delicious fruit. However, there are new blueberry varieties that can be grown in containers. These shrubs are perennials, so it will take them a few years to develop to their full capacity, but you may still enjoy the luscious berries while the plant is still young.
- Divine Watermelon
Even though the watermelons you produce in your garden won’t be as large as those you buy at the supermarket, you may still cultivate sweet, delectable watermelons in your backyard that are roughly the same size as a cantaloupe. This luscious fruit makes a delicious addition to any summertime meal or even serves as a guilt-free dessert substitute. Prepare its drink with some garden-picked mint and lemons for refreshing your guests. The excitement among kids is endless!
It’s crucial to pick seeds with a reasonable growth rate when growing flowers from seed. The seeds with the quickest growth, germinate in a matter of days and bloom in around two months.
The seed size should be large enough for small children to pick it up between their thumb and finger. Tiny flower seeds will be too difficult for small hands to plant.
- Sunny Sunflower
These bold, sunny-faced flowers range from one foot to fifteen feet tall! After the last frost, sow seeds directly in the ground or in sunny pots. Many have enormous edible seeds you can eat with your children or give to the birds.
- Butterfly bush
Throughout the summer, this sturdy bush’s long, spiky flowers in red, white, pink, or purple colors draw many butterflies and hummingbirds. Read the plant label to ensure you give this shrub enough room because it prefers full sun and is available in a range of heights, from two to five feet tall.
- Delightful Daisies
Is there a flower more cheerful than the daisy, with its bright yellow core and pure white petals? Daisy cultivation is simple if water and sunlight are provided in the proper amounts. Teach your kids how to “deadhead” your plants to keep the blooms coming and make them look tidy.
- Miss Marigold
You’ve probably seen these hardy annuals before, and Grandma always grew them for a reason. They are a traditional favorite since they are well-known for withstanding heat and drought and for having natural insect-repelling properties. They are also happy little gentlemen.
Enjoy Your Harvest!
Kids are most enthusiastic about gardening when it comes to harvesting.
- Make it a habit
Make a daily timetable for harvesting, complete your meal and head out to the garden before it gets too hot.
- Handy baskets
Be sure to keep ready-to-fill, kids’ friendly baskets of vegetables immediately by the door and inside the house at all times.
- Express yourself in detail
You want your kids to gather the produce when it is ripe and ready to be picked. Instead of using phrases like “big” and “small,” I’ve found that utilizing more descriptive language is beneficial. You may say, “Harvest zucchini when it’s the size of your arm, from your elbow to your fingertips,” rather than, “Harvest zucchini before it grows too big.” This teaches children a useful technique for determining the precise moment that a vegetable is available for harvesting.
- Get them to help in the kitchen
Put them to work preparing meals based on the product after you’ve finished harvesting. Allow children to use a small knife with a curved tip and a cutting board that is appropriate for their age.
School or youth gardening programs allow students to grow, harvest, and enjoy delicious and nutritious fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. You need to follow some basic harvesting instructions to help lower the risk of foodborne illnesses and maintain this experience enjoyable and secure. It would be ideal if you didn’t let this stop you from letting kids enjoy the many advantages of gardening and eating a portion of healthy food. The suggestions below may generally be put into practice with sufficient planning.
- Get healthy harvesters on board
Ensure that both adults and children collecting food are in good physical condition. Picking produce should be avoided by anyone who feels under the weather or has cuts or sores on their hands or arms.
- Harvest with squeaky-clean hands
Before harvesting edibles, all harvesters must properly wash their hands with soap. You can even build a hand washing station if running water isn’t accessible at your site. Even though hand washing is the safest option, make harvesters wear single-use, disposable gloves, if it can’t be done. Additionally, cleaning your hands after gardening is equally important to maintain proper garden hygiene.
- Use clean containers
Collect your vegetables in clean, dishwasher-safe containers made of food-grade materials. Please make sure the plastic bags to collect the products are of food grade and also don’t use them again. All reusable harvesting containers should be routinely washed (with warm and soapy water), rinsed, dried, and then sanitized. Additionally, clean and disinfect any harvesting apparatus like knives or scissors.
As a sanitizing solution, mix 1/2 fluid ounce (1 tablespoon) of unscented household bleach with 1 gallon of water (or 34 teaspoons of bleach with 1 quart of water). The cleaned surface should be sprayed with the sanitizing solution, let stand for at least one minute, and then dried either by air or with a fresh paper towel. You don’t need to rinse the sanitizing solution off as long as you don’t use more than the advised bleach. Children can assist in washing the containers, but only adults should sanitize them. After cleaning, store harvesting equipment and containers in a location where they won’t become re-contaminated.
Wash your produce properly
Verify that the water is clean before washing any produce. Additionally, its temperature shouldn’t be hotter or cooler than the temperature of the vegetables. This is because germs on the surface of fruits and some vegetables may be sucked within them during the washing process through the stem or blossom end if the water temperature is too different from the temperature of the food itself. Use lukewarm water to wash produce that is still warm from the garden; use cold water to wash produce that has been chilled. Use a clean scrub brush to wash all fruits and vegetables under running water, especially root vegetables, melons, and other tough produce.
- Encourage everyone to practice food safety
Everyone who picks produce in the garden must know about safe food harvesting techniques. Understanding how these techniques shield everyone from foodborne illnesses can increase people’s propensity to remember and adhere to them. Routine works effectively, particularly for children. They will be less likely to see cleanup as labor and more likely to see it as a regular part of their garden experience if their time is spent enjoying the garden.
Kid-Friendly Gardening Tips and Techniques
Looking for some imaginative and entertaining garden ideas for kids? Well, you are where you need to be. We have many ideas right here if you’re searching for ways to get your kids off the couch and outside, embrace the fresh air, and get their new gardening project started.
- Making a garden plan
Involve the kids in all aspects of the planning process, including selecting the garden’s name, design, and produce list. Adults must guide and provide instructions, but should not perform all tasks themselves. Enjoy the journey and remain open to the surprises that may pop up anytime in between.
- Kid-friendly garden
Children should enjoy the garden. Create 4-foot wide rows or raised beds to serve as wide walkways. Create kid-friendly areas while planning, such as sunflower houses, bean teepees, or flower tunnels.
Plants should have intriguing characteristics or be enjoyable to consume, smell and look at.
- Gardening tools
Give small hands appropriate tools. Have adequate kid-sized garden tools, such as hoes, rakes, and watering cans, so tiny teams can collaborate effectively on a task. They will feel like they have a greater stake in the garden. Children require the duties of landscape maintenance. Consider switching tasks so that every youngster has a different assignment each week.
- Investigating nature
This calls for direct engagement with the water, plants, and soil. Allow them to enjoy the environment around them by having them listen, smell and observe. Describe when it’s acceptable to touch or taste something and when you should ask an adult first. Ensure kids have the proper gear, including shoes and clothing, and don’t hesitate to let them get messy.
- Garden’s boundaries
The fundamentals, such as where to walk and where not to walk, that pegs must be left in the ground, and how to use equipment securely, must be taught to kids who have never worked in a garden before. Even while having a garden is fun, everyone has responsibilities.
- Balance framework
To encourage the youngsters to explore the garden independently, strike a balance between scheduled activities and free time. The children can escape their daily routine through storytelling, painting, and dancing.
- Social activities
A garden should make the kids feel pleased with the fruits of their labor and tell others about their experiences. Encourage the kids to use farm produce to create something constructive.