Kids in the garden are funny creatures. Though too young to do many of the garden chores that need done it's important to get them out there not only to learn but to get fresh air. Gardening is an invaluable educational tool because they learn how to do things, procedures, why things are done a certain way, and all about the natural world. So what can parents do to get their children involved in the vegetable garden?
Five activities kids can do in the vegetable garden:
- Plant seeds. Sunflowers, watermelon, and beans are three easy to plant seeds that kids can plant. Generally anything that a child can easily handle and hold is perfect for planting. The older the child is and the better their finger dexterity is the smaller the seeds can be. Another strategy is to let them broadcast small seeds like basil or lettuce into an area.
- Harvesting: Once they know when to pick the plants (or have a parent to tell them) they can harvest nearly anything. My oldest daughter's favorite vegetable to pick were the cherry tomatoes but she's helped pick quite a few vegetables from the garden. Beans, tomatoes and squash are easy to pick but some vegetables like cucumbers might be better off left for the head gardener.
- Pull weeds: This works if you teach your child to ask before you pull. If not they might just end up removing a favorite heirloom veggie before you can stop them!
- Water: For some reason kids are inherently attracted to water. You can use this to your advantage if you get a small child sized watering can for them to float around with. Of course the odds are just as great that they will water a rock but don't rocks look pretty when wet?
- Have Fun! I'm cheating a bit with this last one but really the most important thing kids can do in the garden is have fun! If they don't enjoy gardening while young they may not enjoy it as they grow older. early influences are a profound impact on children and it's always best to make a positive impression when learning.
What do you think? Do we enjoy gardening or what?
Labels: Gardening with Children, vegetable garden