Finally, it’s Mother’s Day, and the sun is shining for the first time in about a week. And what a week it’s been. Being sick on a rainy day is so gloomy so when the sun came out today, I was so happy. The beautiful sun reminded me of a couple weeks ago on another sunny day when the kids and I started a small gardening project. After our experience, I have a couple tips to help kids garden.
Gardening With Kids
1.) Encourage involvement through the whole process.
Let’s face it. Kids are not going to be perfect at gardening. Flower pots will tip over, and containers of seeds will spill. Gardening with kids is much more simple than it sounds. Remember, the goal of gardening with kids is to lighten a child’s spirit and to inspire them to love nature. Provide positive encouragement every step of the way. Exciting and joyous gardening memories will last long into the future.
It helps to garden with tools that are unbreakable, so you won’t mind your kids’ excitement. My kids had an easy time gardening with the Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit, which came with three unbreakable planting pots made out of 100% recycled plastic, organic seeds, soil pods, a trowel, and a planter tray. Even when Georgiana tipped one of the pots over, I wasn’t worried because I knew the pot wouldn’t break. I also really liked the Watering Can made out of recycled plastic because it gave Georgiana more independence to water the plants by herself.
2.) Give breaks when needed.
Gardening should be a relaxing experience. Give ample rest time, and keep your kids well hydrated. Kids get tired well before adults do. Five to ten minutes of rest and play should happen about every half an hour. My daughters needed time to unwind after every step of the planting process. When kids get bored, antsy, or exhausted, they should get some time off from working in the garden. This will keep them energized and ready to learn when it’s time to garden.
3.) Personalize the experience for each kid.
Give each kid the chance to make the experience all their own. Kids can make their own windchime or birdfeeder to add to the family garden. My kids loved being able to plant their own type of plant so they each can watch their plant grow. My older daughter wanted the sunflowers and my younger daughter wanted the carrots. This encourages them to continue to care for their plants.
Each kid also really enjoyed getting their hands in the soil to help hydrate the soil pod. Make gardening a hands on experience. My kids connected with their plants more because they got involved in the process. Personalize the experience for your kids to help them stay engaged.
4.) Make gardening a reward, not a chore.
Getting to head outside for some sun is a huge reward in my family. After constant exposure to screen time and other indoor activities, it’s a nice break to be around nature. Getting to garden as a family is a reward to the whole family. We enjoy the time outside together, so it doesn’t even seem like work. No matter how big your gardening obligations are for the day, make it a game for the kids to help them enjoy the experience.
5.) Clean up well afterwards!
After a long, hot day outside, getting clean is the best feeling. Green Toys makes a Tugboat and a Submarine that are my daughters’ favorites. Both toys hold water well, which helps wash away all the dirt and grime. These toys are also made of very eco-friendly materials, so you can use them to teach about the benefits of helping keep our ecosystem clean.
6.) Celebrate each achievement.
Growing plants is a lot of work, and you won’t be successful every time. When a seed sprouts or the first flower blooms, make it a huge celebration. Samantha checked her pots daily to see if a sprout was coming, and she was heartbroken when nothing was there for the first couple of days. When another day passed and a few seeds sprouted, it was the most exciting day.
Even better, the plants continued to sprout more than I had anticipated! The directions said to only add two or three seeds. When I helped the kids plant the seeds, I put all of the seeds in just in case some didn’t sprout. There was nothing to worry about. The gardening kit worked very well. All of the seeds must have sprouted, because the pots are completely full now.
Do you garden with your kids in the summer? What are your best tips? Share in the comments.
I received a free item, but it no way influenced my opinion!