Why Garden with Your Kids?

Because kids dig it!

Mother and daughter planting flowers together.

Spring has arrived and it’s time to get to work on those gardens! Before you do all the work yourself, consider getting the kids involved. There are many lessons to be learned with a shovel and some dirt!

  • Gardening is a great way for kids to spend time outside, learn basic plant science, and have fun.
  • You can’t plant  garden without digging in dirt, pouring water, and watching things appear – what kid wouldn’t be into that?
  • Caring for a garden will teach kids patience – you need to wait for flowers to bloom or veggies to be ready for harvest.

Here are a few tips that will make planting a garden with your kids the best possible experience:

Buy Kid-Sized Tools

If you’re going to involve your kids in gardening, they need the proper tools. Look for gardening gloves, trowels, and watering cans that are made for small hands!

Make a Kid Zone

If you have a large garden, designate one area for the kids. Or, if you’re planting in pots, give each child their own planter. Having a garden of their own to care for can help kids develop a sense of pride and responsibility.

Plant Veggies

Vegetable gardens are perfect for kids! Children will love the hands-on experience of growing their own food. It’s a great way to encourage kids to eat healthy too. Kids will be more excited to eat their very own vegetables. Homegrown veggies also taste much better than the ones in the grocery store! Carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and green beans are all good choices for kids. Your kids can also grow their own pumpkins for next Halloween!

Plant “Fun” Flowers

If your child wants to grow flowers, choose ones that are kid-friendly. Sunflowers are a great choice because they grow quickly and kids will be amazed by a flower that is taller than they are! Snapdragons are fun because if you pinch either side of the flower, you can make the ‘dragon’ open his ‘mouth’.

Add Some Creativity

Instead of using the seed packets to mark the rows in your garden, have your kids draw pictures of the things they planted and make their own row markers. Or, even better, paint marker stones with acrylic paint and coat with an outdoor sealer like Mod-Podge.

Know That it’s Okay to Get Dirty

A big part of the appeal of gardening for kids is being able to play in the dirt. Don’t let it bother you. Clothes and kids are both washable. Getting dirty is part of the fun!

For more tips and ideas on gardening with kids, check out the National Gardening Association’s site on kids gardening!

About The Author

Tara Lo
Tara Lo is an Early Childhood Educator who has worked with children aged 6 months to 12 years in a variety of settings. From day camps to daycare centers, homeless shelters to hotel resorts, and kindergarten classrooms to community centers. Tara is a former writer for Webkinz Jr., where she used her knowledge of child development and all things preschool to help create lovable characters, catchy songs, silly stories, and fun activities. Tara is now a work-at-home mom who splits her days between writing, running a home daycare, and being constantly amazed by her wonderful son.

6 Responses to Why Garden with Your Kids?

  1. Grace says:

    My mother was an avid gardener, and so are my siblings, now all into their forties. When we had children, there was never a question that we would apportion our yard and choose the best location for our vegetable garden. Now, we don’t have girls – we have boys. And from the time they could toddle around, they have worked/played with me in the garden. Now, as they are in late elementary & middle school, they still can’t wait for the first signs of spring. They’ve already picked out about 20 different kinds of seeds – each – that they want to plant this year. Though we live in Central Asia right now, at a very high altitude, we have been able to start our indoor seeds near south-facing windows. The boys help us to turn the soil, plant the seedling/seeds, water, weed, and – of course – harvest! Snap peas never even make it into the house, nor do cherry tomatoes or many carrots. This year, they are going to see if we can get some new varieties of flowers to grow, and perhaps even corn – both very tricky in our high, desert-like environment. Whether or not the new crops succeed, I feel we’ve already won. Because our children are maturing with a knowledge of agriculture, an awareness of weather’s effects on food production, and a healthy respect for what goes into making the food we eat. They also love to share our ‘extras’ with needy families in our neighborhood. An added bonus? My kids’ favorite food is SALAD! And they practically groan for fresh broccoli, stir fry or veggies sticks! So start a new family activity this spring and play in the dirt!

  2. salltstar2012 says:

    Good way to bring people together

  3. tigerlily102938 says:

    it good to be green and not be glued to the tv.

  4. PeacockLover says:

    Its FUN if you do it together as a family!:):):):)

  5. greenladymusician says:

    both of my thirty year olds love to garden.our oldest daughter does garden a lot more.than our youngest daughter but i am sure.that our youngest daughter would do it.when she has a bigger place.like our oldest daughter!

  6. dune456 says:

    I started a small cactus garden with my three year old after reading this article, then our cactus’s had a about thirty little babies! I shared them with my daughter’s teachers and some friends. Then tonight my seventeen year old surprised me with an aloe vera plant she grew herself at her dad’s house after seeing how much joy the little garden we started gave us.. When they have babies too, we get to share them as well.. Yeah Webkinz!!!