Getting Started With A Kids Garden: A Beginner’s Guide To Gardening For Kids
Everyone knows that being outside in the fresh air gives a lot of health benefits to the body. You might also have heard that planting flowers and vegetables is therapeutic.
But did you know that gardening also has developmental benefits for children?
If you want your kids of all ages to enjoy all the benefits that nature has to offer, open them up to the world of gardening at a young age. Growing their own garden with vegetables, flowers, and herbs affords them the opportunity of growing their own food, to learn about nutrition, and to play and have hours of fun while tending their gardens along with these benefits:
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Engages Their Senses
Children learn best when they engage all their senses. With gardening, they touch and feel the dirt, the flowers, and the seeds. They see the vibrant and bright colors of the plants. They also smell the scents of the flowers and hear the sounds made by vegetables as they’re harvested from the plants.
Enhances Their Fine Motor Development
Digging in the dirt, planting the seeds in the pots and containers, and watering the plants take fine motor skills. As your child gardens, he or she develops important motor skills that aids in the improvement of academic skills like writing and typing.
Teaches Them Responsibility
Gardening is a great way to teach kids about responsibility, from the time they start taking care of their seeds or seedlings up until they become healthy plants. They start to value the importance of following directions and valuing the importance of life as well.
Fosters Family Bonding
A kids garden can be fun for the entire family not just for the kids. Many children garden with their parents, this is great for quality family time. Gardening is a wonderful bonding activity. Your child and you can work together from deciding which plants to plant, where to plant them, to watering and fertilizing.
How To Get Your Child Interested In Gardening
It doesn’t take much to get children interested in gardening, it’s a natural curiosity for them, and who doesn’t like to play in the dirt? To get your little helper involved and interested in creating a garden, you can try these simple ideas:
Keep Everything Simple
When beginning a kids garden, you need to keep it simple and fun. If there are a lot of complicated steps, your young gardeners might think it’s too hard and will quit right then and there. Make things simpler.
You can make it more fun by creating a checklist that they can follow. As soon as they tick one box from that checklist, give them a simple reward, like the My Fairy Garden Scented Garden Fairy Set – Rosie, this is a perfect reward for their garden efforts and can also be used as a hair clip.
Give Them A Place Of Their Own
Involving your child in the planning and designing process of the garden will entice them to garden more.
Do A Temp Check
Since it’s your child’s first time to get his or her tiny hands into the garden soil, start small. They don’t have to immediately get their little hands dirty. You can start with a toy, like the My Fairy Garden – Tree Hollow, which will give them a first-hand experience of what gardening is like.
This toy includes soil and plant seeds, allowing them to plant their very own garden and watch it grow. They can check it every day, water it as needed, and even make sure it gets enough sunlight too.
Encourage Them To Dig In The Dirt
Younger kids love to make mud pies! If they know that it’s okay to get down and dirty, they’ll not be afraid to touch the dirt.
The Best Vegetables To Grow With Kids
When deciding what to plant in a kids garden, radishes are one of the first plants that come to mind. Radishes are not fussy. You can plant them anywhere and they grow fast, so kids will be excited seeing them grow so quickly before their eyes..
In just a few days after planting them, you will see the first sprouts coming out. As fast as 30 days, they can be ready to harvest.
Carrots grow well in a deep pot or container. Your child can grow them during spring or autumn and in a few weeks, they can start pulling the baby carrots out.
Beans are easy for their little fingers to plan directly in a garden or in a pot. If you choose a climbing bean to plant, you can build a trellis or a tee-pee (another family DIY you can do) around for them to grow.
Growing your own salad is another fun activity. Lettuces come in different varieties and color. They are easy to grow and they do not require full sun. Plus, it is easy to grow lettuces from seedlings, rather than seeds, making the process a lot easier and faster.
Activities That Children Can Do In The Garden
Choose the set of activities that suit the age of your child nest. Some of the activities that they can get their hands on are:
- Digging the soil
- Applying fertilizer or compost
- Mulching the plants
- Watering the garden
- Picking the flowers
- Planting the fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
- Feeding the worms in the compost bin.
- Picking the vegetables and fruits that are ready to be eaten.
- Removing the weeds
- Replanting or re-potting
Kids Gardening Tools
What is gardening without real-life gardening tools? To help them with their gardening chores, give your kids their own personal gardening and hand tools.
Plant life is dependent on water. Even cactuses require water in the air to life.
Give your child a smaller watering can that is made from high-quality plastic that they can easily carry around the yard.
You will never realize the importance of gloves for gardening until you are without them.
Gardening gloves are a must for kids. They keep their small hands protected and clean while they are digging in the dirt. They protect their hands from any wicked itchy weeds or bugs that might sting or bite, too.
Choosing the right hand trowel makes it easier for your little gardeners to dig out holes for the seed packets or seedlings. It should be small enough for your child to handle so buying a trowel specifically made for children is a great idea. It is lighter than the ones made for adults.
A hand rake is another tool they will need while tending their own garden patch.
Look for a children’s rake that has soft and flexible tines. This will allow your child to easily rake without worrying about the tines getting stuck in the ground.
A hand shovel is essential to any good tool kit. You can either get one with plastic handles or one with wooden handles whichever one you get it’s a good idea to get one with a rubber grip because it will be easier on your child’s hands
A garden hoe is a great tool for 5 year olds and up but be careful as some have sharp edges which would be a good option for older kids. Also for bigger kids it’s best to get a hoe with a hardwood handle and a steel head.
A metal wheelbarrow is a great addition to your gardening toolset their are many great options, it’s easy to find the perfect size with so many options available.
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Gardening is a fun and healthy activity for kids. They can develop new skills and learn more about nature and science as they grow their own food. Share your experiences helping your kids garden in the comments below.
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