How to Get Your Kids Excited About Gardening
Getting kids interested in gardening and where their food comes from can be fun and rewarding – regardless of the temperature.
Gardening from Inside Out
There is a wide array of plants you can cultivate from the cozy comfort of your own home, even during the cold months.
Scratch-and-sniff scented geraniums will amaze you and the children. They will delight in gently scratching to foliage to release the aroma. This plant is especially fun to break out at family gatherings to see if others can recognize the plant.
Your windowsill is the perfect home for numerous aromatic herbs. Children can learn to identify the herbs through a fun game of tasting, touching and smelling. Incorporate them into your favorite recipes to show how these herbs pique all of your senses to enhance the dishes.
Right next to the herbs, make a spot for sprouting some root vegetables. Bury vegetables such as carrots, beets, turnips or winter radishes in potting soil in a container, leaving the top exposed. Keep moist.
Alternatively, you can slice one inch off the top of your root veggie of choice and set in an inch of water in a saucer. Refill as needed. Your own little sprouts will love seeing the veggies sprout in about a week.
A Plot of Their Own
When the weather outside begins to get less frightful, create a small garden area for your child. Use colorful fencing, decorate it to match their personality and make sure to have their name on it so they take pride in their little plot.
Start small with a few vegetable and flower plants, which can be planted in the soil or in pots. Add some crafty plant markers to keep track of what’s growing, and if you’re using pots, decorate those, too. A small stool or chair will be the perfect perch for them to watch their hard work take root.
To really liven up the patch, help kids create their own living fort by building a teepee out of poles and then planting pole beans. As the beanstalks grow, tie them to the structure with string to encourage their path. This will be a cozy place to play and hide! They could even read the tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and pretend they are living the legend. Your kids will especially love harvesting and eating the beans they grew themselves.
Letting them get their hands dirty is the first step in inspiring your child to become interested in growing flowers or food of their very own. They will learn that growing plants requires soil, sun, water and plenty of care.