Gardening is a fun activity for kids to learn about nature and food. Taking care of a plant is rewarding for all ages. It teaches children responsibility and discipline and helps them learn how to care for a living thing. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, babysitter, or mentor, this article will give you the tools you need to have a positive experience gardening with kids.
Gardening with Kids: Plants to Pick
If you are thinking about gardening with kids, you may be wondering whether to buy seeds or plants that have already sprouted. It can be great fun for children to watch seeds grow, but if you want immediate results, consider purchasing a plant that has already been grown or germinated. You’ll find both seeds and plants at a local greenhouse or an online plant nursery.
Make sure to include kids when picking out seeds or plants. If you are making a vegetable garden, ask them what their favorite veggies are to eat or what plants they think to look the coolest.
When gardening with kids, allow them to decide and get excited about what plant they will be growing. If you buy flowers or other decorative plants, show them pictures of the plants when they are mature and ask your kid which ones they like.
Germinating Your Seeds
Consider germinating the seeds using a wet paper towel when gardening with kids. This method helps the seeds sprout faster than if you plant them without germination.
Have kids sprinkle the seeds across half a sheet of a paper towel, then spray water on it lightly. Fold the paper in half and place it in a plastic bag. Put the bags somewhere warm indoors, and make sure to put them in a low enough place so kids can check up on the seeds and watch them grow. The seeds should begin to sprout within a week.
Planting While Gardening with Kids
After your seeds have sprouted or you’ve bought your plant, find a pot or plot of soil where you can place it. Buy a bag of fertilized soil (this will help the plant adjust to its new home), and have kids help mix the store-bought soil with the dirt from the lawn.
Check how far apart the seeds or plants need to be from each other; this detail is usually on the package label. Place them accordingly and have the kids dig a hole and put the new plants in place. Immediately after planting, water thoroughly, and continue to water the new plants every day (sometimes less depending on the type of plant, check the label to be sure). Buy a smaller, kid-friendly watering can so they can help.
Your child will love watching the plant grow and look forward to watering it and taking care of it daily. You’ll spend quality time together while teaching the child a valuable skill.