Gardening projects benefit a child’s learning regarding health and the environment.
It is an exciting activity to get them off the remote control and their gadgets. And while you're at it, you can teach your kids about various science!
In this article, we’ll be looking into a few gardening projects that are ideal for you to do with kids. This means, no heavy lifting for them, no major landscaping projects, and no bricks and cement.
We’ll keep it easy and simple, yet educational, and most importantly, child-friendly! But first, an important question: Are the young ones ready for the tasks or not?
How Soon Should I let my Kids do Gardening?
The best age to introduce your kids to gardening is anywhere from 12 to 36 months old. This is also known as the Toddler stage.
The toddler years are a great time to develop cognitive, locomotor, and object control skills.
Moving an object from one place to another develops the toddler’s pincer grasp and whole-hand grasping, both necessary skills for writing and other activities.
Gardening is also helpful to the kid’s literacy skills. Naming the different kinds of plants, trees, vegetables, and let your kids read the labels of the seed packs are a great way to develop such skills.
Let your kids play around with colourful flowers and make decisions in your garden.
Involving your kids in gardening projects sparks their creative side and would make them feel as if they are playing with their toys.
There are many easy tasks like letting them pick the vegetables to plant in your garden or the flowers or plants for window boxes.
These child-friendly activities allow you to connect and build lifelong memories. Putting in some fun, learning, and a bit of dirt will go a long way.
More gardening articles:
- How to Start a Square Foot Garden (A Beginner Guide)
- Turn Your Black Thumb Green
- Keeping Your Garden Alive While on Vacation
5 Child-Friendly Projects
It’s as if succulents were made for kids to practice gardening upon. They’re both attractive, highly resilient, and easy to grow and maintain.
Thus, learning how to look after succulents shouldn’t be too hard; even for kids! With this in mind, toddlers can start creating a mini-succulent garden with your help.
Here are a few types of succulents we recommend:
Starting a compost heap
Honestly, it doesn’t get any easier than composting! Starting a compost heap is a great idea.
It’ll teach your toddlers about the many benefits of composting, the process and different methods, what specific organic materials to use, and what to use the heap for!
However, with all that said, still, do the job with your kids. Especially when adding manure and maintaining the moisture of the compost heap.
Also, other than being able to bond and educate your kids, you’ll also be helping the plants and the environment which never hurt anyone, right?
Using packets of seeds, you and your kids can start planting from a wide array of plants or vegetables. You can plant the seeds directly to the soil or in individual pots.
It is better to begin with plants or vegetables that are easiest to grow. Here are some examples of seeds ideal for your kids to start planting with.
Beans can work well even in poor soil conditions. This is because of the bean’s nitrogen-fixing microbes. In hot regions, southern peas, asparagus beans and lima beans are excellent for growing. In cold regions, snap beans are easiest.
The sunflower is a colourful and fast-growing type of flower. Your kids will be charmed as to how this flower can grow quickly and beautifully. Marigold, Nasturtium, and Pansies are also easy to grow.
“Po-tay-to”, “Po-tah-to”, doesn’t matter as to how you're going to say it, planting potatoes makes harvest time and digging in the dirt more fun.
Kale can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. You can plant it from early spring to early summer and sweetest in cold weather. The kale’s flowers and buds are also edible.
DIY Plant Markers
Use popsicle sticks to label the different plants and herbs in your garden beds and pots.
Your kids can get crafty by painting the popsicle sticks in different colours, designing it however they want it to look and then labelling it with permanent markers.
This fun project enhances their artistic side and practices your kid’s writing.
This is another artistic project you and your kids can do. Use mini-pots for your kids since they are perfect for small hands. Decorate mini-pots using different paint colours.
You can even put in some stickers, glitter, and gems. Mom or Dad will definitely want to do the glueing and painting. Plant in your seeds inside the decorated pots and together you can watch them grow.
DIY Stone Markers
Now you have popsicle markers, and you’ve run out of popsicle sticks. Why not use stones instead?
Stones are perfect to label your crops. Collect stones in different colours and shapes to match your crops. Make sure to wash them prior to decorating and labelling them.
Milk Carton Pots
This is an environment-friendly, biodegradable project for your kids. This is the best time to teach your kids about recycling and how to help the environment in simple ways.
With your help, cut the milk carton in half. To add in some fun, you can cut the milk carton in half and shape the upper part of the carton similar to that of an animal’s ears.
Paint and decorate the carton. Let them paint an animal’s face for the cartons shaped with animal ears.
Fill in soil and seeds. You can put the milk carton pots near the window of the kid’s bedrooms or in your garden.
The Benefits of Gardening to your Kids
Gardening encourages healthy eating and responsibility. It promotes all the senses and fine motor development.
We all know that kids and vegetables are not the best of friends and parents are struggling to make their kids eat vegetables.
But since they are involved with the gardening process, your kids will be proud to have grown their own food, and they will be excited to taste it.
Gardening teaches your kids patience and creativity through the projects we have shared. Seeds take time and the needed care to grow into a plant. But we promise it’s all worth the wait.
It develops a green thumb. It also fosters family bonding and communication.
Gardening takes a lot of work, but when you do it together as a family, it will not be all work and sweat.
It will also resonate as a fun and productive activity. Through gardening, you are also helping your kids to become stewards to the environment.
They will learn the importance of recycling and that it takes a lot of hard work to put food on your tables.
Happy Gardening to you and your family!
Bio: Emma Metson is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full-time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of advice, tips and tricks that she loves sharing on her blog.