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10 Tips for Gardening with Kids ~ Gardening with Children

Updated on May 22, 2014
Container gardening is another way of giving a child a small garden plot to work with.
Container gardening is another way of giving a child a small garden plot to work with. | Source

Gardening is for Kids Too!

Gardening with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your children. There are so many benefits to gardening, one of which is stress relief.

It is amazing how therapeutic it can be to feel the cool moist dirt slip through your fingers as you work in your garden. Kids love to play in the dirt and are often rewarded with a surprise – an earthworm or other type of insect.

And to see a small plant grow from a seed they themselves planted is a miracle that is awesome to share.

Tips for Working with Kids in the Garden

  1. Consider creating a plot (perhaps beginning 3 feet x 3 feet) which the child is entirely responsible for. Guide them through the process that needs to be done, but allow them to be responsible for doing everything that needs to be done on that area of the garden. This will help them learn from their successes as well as their failures.
  2. Certain vegetables provide more satisfaction to children. Radishes, for instance, will sprout in 3-5 days and can be harvested in 30 days. Other great choices include zucchini, peas, pumpkins, carrots, and lettuce.
  3. Planting vegetable transplants such as tomatoes and peppers gives a quick start to your child’s garden. Transplants are also available for herbs and flowers.
  4. Remember that young children can have very short attention spans, but there are plenty of varied tasks that need to be done in a garden to help deal with this issue.
  5. Allow the children to help pick out the seeds you will be planting. The seed packets are all bright and colorful, and your child’s curiosity will be piqued by all the types of seeds available. They may be inspired to ask questions about the different vegetables, especially those they have never seen or tasted before.
  6. Allow your children to get dirty without reprimanding them for it. Getting dirty is a part of life, especially the life of a child.
  7. Talk to your child about the different insects you find in your garden. Teach them there are insects which are bad for your garden and insects which are good for your garden. Teach them which insects can be harmful to them, such as bees, wasps and some spiders. By allowing and even encouraging your child to interact with the various (safe) insects your child will not develop a fear of insects that many people have.
  8. Be sure to be a good role model in taking care of your garden, encouraging them to do the same in their gardening area.
  9. If gardening with several children try to keep the seeds and tasks evenly divided to prevent squabbles.
  10. Encourage your child to create and keep a garden journal. In their journal, let them document what they planted and when they planted it. Have them draw pictures of the different bugs they saw in the garden. If they are interested in identifying the bugs, consider getting them an insect field guide to encourage their curiosity.

Even the smallest child can enjoy the gardening experience.
Even the smallest child can enjoy the gardening experience. | Source

Create a Love of Gardening for a Lifetime

Spend time in the garden with your child. If a love of nature, plants and gardening is instilled in your child when they are young, it will remain with them for a lifetime. What a wonderful and practical gift!

Check out Growing Healthy and Happy Kids in the Garden ~ Gardening with Children to learn more.

© 2012 Cindy Murdoch

Comments: "10 Tips for Gardening with Kids ~ Gardening with Children"

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    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      My dogs don't respect my plants either, wordscribe43. A big dog foot can wipe out quite a few plants with one step. I hope your kids enjoy their own little plot of garden, or heaven. thanks so much.

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Fantastic hub! My kids have always and continue to love gardening. I love your idea about dedicating a patch that's just theirs... I am hoping to expand my garden this summer, so I will heed this fantastic tip. Interesting about radishes- it's so true about kids being impatient. Now if I can only keep my dogs from tromping through the plants, I'll be in business. Sigh...

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      rosika - gardening with kids can be so fun and entertaining. To be able to see the wonder in their eyes, and thru their eyes, is a wonder for me. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • rosika profile image

      rosika 6 years ago

      Very informative tips in this hub...loved the tip about allowing children to choose the seeds, they will learn about colour and texture so naturally, voted up!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Simone - there are so many varied tasks that can be done in a garden, that even the shortest attention span can be accommodated.

      alocsin - I understand what you are saying. But a 1x1 plot is not even big enough for one healthy tomato plant. That is why the larger size is recommended.

      teaches12345 - congratulations to your granddaughter. It is truly a rewarding pastime to share with kids of all ages. They do learn lots in a very short period of time

      GoodLady - There is so much to fascinate them, for them to enjoy and for them to learn when it comes to gardening. Gardening is truly "life". Thanks

      Thanks to all of your for stopping by and for taking the time to share your ideas!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Eliminate Cancer - Gardening is so good for everyone, and it does give you a special connection with the earth. I love to feel good fertile ground in my hands and I love the smell of it when it is getting wet.

      billybuc - so sorry to hear that the garden is flooded. The temp is not bad for a spring garden, but the water would make it a little difficult.

      Rolly - so glad you enjoyed the little jaunt in the garden. I really hate that my knees are making it harder and harder for me to enjoy gardening. But I do enjoy it none the less.

      Thanks so much to all of you for stopping by. I so appreciate it!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      It's beautiful. Toddlers and children love being in the soil don't they, and the love to see their plants grow? I like the idea that you go shopping for the colorful seeds with them too and tell them all about the bugs!

      Good on you. This is how to make children happy through being involved in 'life' itself. Voting up and interesting

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      I love this simple hub topic and how you wrote the suggestions for this activity. It is one of the most rewarding projects you can do with a child. My granddaugher just won her science fair top award for doing such a project with plants. She learned lots about gardening. Voted up.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I like the small plot idea best of all, but maybe for beginning adult gardeners, lol. I think for younger kids, maybe a 1x1 might suffice. And with several children, I'd keep those plots as far away from each other as possible. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Lovely tips! I especially appreciate the one about short attention spans. Gardening doesn't always cater to that trait, but careful parents can most certainly find ways to make it more exciting!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Wonderful hub and what and introduction into caring for your own needs and the wonderful world of gardening....

      Hugs for this

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I would love to use these tips but currently our garden is flooded and it is forty degrees. Great tips for those who can actually see their garden at this time. :)

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      We are really looking forward to our spring planting. I do everything with the kids, but things like gardening are so wonderful to connect us as a family, and to the earth!!