I am so excited to be growing a garden again this year. We were in the midst of a move last Spring and since we didn’t have container garden boxes at our new house, we weren’t able to plant our normal family garden. Boy did we miss it! I missed it every time I went to the grocery store and had to pay for zucchini that I would normally had overflowing in my garden boxes! We also missed gardening as a family. It’s such a unique experience getting to grow your own food from seed, exploring the science behind it all and enjoying quality time with your children as they learn new things about their world. That’s why this year, a garden was at the top of our Spring To-Do List, but not just any garden… this year we’re working at creating a Kids Garden too! What’s the difference in a Kids Garden and a regular garden? Well, nothing technically, but if you let your child have ownership of at least one area of the garden, I guarantee they’ll feel more invested in the time it takes to tend the garden AND the beautiful harvest that you’ll get in just a few months! In fact, having your own Kids Garden is a great way to turn those picky “I don’t want anything green on my plate” eaters to open their eyes, minds, and mouths to delicious homegrown vegetables! Creating your own Kids Garden is super easy and I’m sharing 5 tips today so you can get started on yours just in time for planting season!
Buy Children’s Gardening Tools
Although not a necessity, buying your child their own garden tools will only add to the excitement of having their own garden. Garden tools as simple as their own watering can, shovels, and gardening gloves are a great way to make your child feel even more invested in the activity.
Let them Play in the Dirt
This tip works IF your child likes to play in dirt… if not, well, you might want to skip it like I do with my own girls. They love to plant and dig with shovels, as long as they aren’t getting too messy!
Let Your Child Choose What to Plant
If your kid loves tomatoes, let them plant tomatoes! This is also a great way to get them to try new foods, especially if you make it sound really fun to grow eggplants… “They grow big and turn purple!” By letting your child choose what they plant, they’ll feel more in control of their own kids garden.
One of my favorite ways to start my own garden is from seed and it couldn’t be any easier, or more Kids Garden friendly, than these pods from Miracle Gro. Each Miracle Gro Gro-ables has a paper top which lets you know every thing you need to know about the veggie or herb you’re going to grow, including a picture which makes it super easy for kids to pick out their favorites. They’re ready to go as soon as you pull the paper lid off – just stick the pod right into the ground without covering with any extra dirt – and water it. The seeds are already at the right depth and ready to grow! In 1-2 weeks your child will begin to see a seed sprout and then in several months after planting, flowers will appear which means fruit is close at hand!
DIY Vegetable Markers
A few years ago Sophia and I created these simple and adorable Vegetable Markers with rocks and paint and ever since we’ve always made a craft out of creating DIY Vegetable Markers for our garden. This year, Moreaya and I kept with the simple theme and made markers out of craft sticks. She’s working on her letters at Preschool so it was the perfect way to practice letters and drawing small shapes like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers!
Harvest and Cook Together
There’s no better way to celebrate a garden, especially a Kids Garden, than enjoying the fruits [and veggies] of your labor! Once you start having tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce sprouting… eat them! After harvesting together, make a fun snack or dinner with your child and encourage them to try something new because we all know our homegrown foods taste way better than any you buy! Making a Kids Garden is a great way to for children spend time outside, enjoy time together as a family, learn about science and your surrounding world, and simply learn about sustainability!
For more ideas on gardening with kids and making your own kids garden, visit the Gro-ables Project.
What vegetable would be your child’s first choice in their own Kids Garden?