Do you love to garden? Even if you just grow vegetables in small containers, it’s a great way to interact and enjoy an activity with your children. Here are 5 tips and tricks for gardening with preschoolers and making your small garden a success!
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 seeds, 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!
And it doesn’t matter if your children are still young. In fact, gardening with preschoolers 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. I absolutely LOVE this cute set on Amazon!
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! But the main thing to remember about gardening with preschoolers is to keep it fun and interactive!
Let your child choose what to plant in their section of the garden
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.
My girls begged one year to just plant flowers. Although it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping they would want to plant, we did it and the wild flower section of the garden turned out to be wonderful because it attracted so many bees and butterflies to our garden. It was a great chance to talk about pollination and how bees help gardens.
Let your kids make 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!
When you’re gardening with preschool aged children there are so many chances to turn activities into learning activities!
Harvest your garden 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.
Gardening with preschoolers 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!