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Introducing Your Kids to Gardening

If you want to teach your kids gardening skills, but you don’t want it to seem like a chore, you have to do kid-friendly gardening activities to keep them engaged. Sending your kids out to weed is the surest way to make them hate gardening, but these 8 activities will instill a love for planting in their hearts.

Homemade Chia Pet
Do you remember those terracotta chia pets that you saw on TV? You can make homemade chia pets with your kids. A few ideas are the bottle pet, and the painted pot. If you are using an old bottle, cut it in half (and smooth out the edges), and then glue googly eyes and a nose onto the bottle. If you are painting pots, use paint and stickers to create faces and animals on your kid’s pots. Then plant plants based on the type of hair you want your creations to have. For example, aloe vera works well for a spiky hairdo while grass makes nice, easy-to-style hair.

Mini Fairy Gardens
Set aside a small area of your garden or a designated half-gallon garden planter for your kids to create a mini-fairy garden for visiting fairies. Plant little flowers to keep the fairies in the shade, and lay down little pebbles to create walkways for your little friends. If you can, find little houses and other furniture for visiting fairies. Visit craft stores to see if you can find little things to spruce up your fairy gardens.

Put Them In Charge of Easy Plants
Put your kids in charge of the easy plants so that they can experience the fruits of their labors. Plants that are good for kids are those with large seeds and that germinate quickly (to cut down on the waiting time). Good plants to grow with your kids are: pumpkins, sunflowers, radishes, wildflowers, snow peas, lettuce, and carrots. Other fun plants are: lamb’s ear, venus flytraps, and hens and chicks.

Create a Small Flower Garden
Instead of having your kids help you out in your garden (and have them risk accidentally weeding your plants or becoming overwhelmed with the size of the garden), give them a small flower box for them to tend. Teach them how to care for the plants, how to weed the garden, how often it needs to be watered, etc. Easy plants to care for are petunias, zinnias, cone flowers, and lantanas. Of course, you can always just go to the store and let them pick their own flowers so that they are more excited about their plants.

Germinate Plants in a Paper Towel
If you want your kids to be able to watch seeds grow, germinate a few in paper towels so that they can watch the seeds sprout. Soak your paper towels in water, and then place a few seeds on the towel, and seal them up in a plastic bag. Just make sure that you put a few seeds on each towel, in case some don’t grow. The best seeds to grow are sunflowers, peas, and beans.

Window Boxes
If you want to do a fun gardening project, but don’t have the space outdoors, you can create window boxes with your children. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide which window you’ll be putting your box in. Find one that offers plenty of sunlight and has a large enough sill to host your window box. After that, you need to decide what box you want to plant in. Find something cute and that fits the rest of your home decor, as well as something your kids like. Select easy plants to grow such as pansies, petunias, impatiens, and herbs. For more tips and tricks, check out this blog.

Create Seed Bombs
If you have a big empty lot near your home, create seed bombs to reseed the area. Pick seeds that are native to your location (annual and perennial flowers are always a good idea). Mix 2 parts potting soil, 5 parts pottery clay, 2 parts water, and 2 parts seeds. Roll the mixture into balls about ½” to 1” in size. If the seeds you have picked need light to germinate, attach them to the outside of the balls rather than mixing them in. After you have made your bombs, take them out to your vacant lots and empty fields and start making your town a better place.

Felt Gardening
If your kids are too little to join you out in the garden, get a small felt garden for your kids to practice planting and harvesting. You can purchase one on etsy, or you can make your own. Use jersey cotton, felt, cotton batting, and a sewing machine or hot glue to create little vegetables, dirt, and a cardboard box to put it all in.