If you follow my Instagram you will see my obsession with our new garden. My family and I moved out of New York City when schools switched to remote learning in March. It has always been our dream to have a home with some land to grow a garden or micro farm. Now that we have a little more space, we’re able to do some planting and include our 3-year-old in the process. Through gardening, we’re so happy to be teaching her valuable life skills. Gardening with kids is a great way to teach them responsibility, compassion, empathy, and to care for and respect themselves and others.
Earlier in the spring, my daughter’s teacher sent her two beans. We watched them sprout in a damp cloth and when they were ready, planted them in a pot. Then, we watered and watched them grow and when they were big enough, transferred them outside. She saw the rain come down and observed how they grew inches taller overnight. In her mind, rain water equates with growth (she talks about the rain water helping her to grow bigger too). We now talk about our own hydration after being outside in the hot weather and compare it to the plants’ hydration.
For parents and teachers – tips for gardening with kids
Because gardening with kids is so educational, it can be done at home and at school. In this uncertain and stressful time with Covid-19, gardening could be a great outlet for the whole family or class. It’s so easy to get started. Here’s some tips I’ve pulled together to help you and your kids get onto the garden path (get it?) 🙂
- Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive or grandiose – all you need is a pair of hands, soil, water and sun (for teachers – look into getting some soil donated to your classroom or school)
- If you don’t have much space at home or in the classroom, you could use an empty egg carton – start there and see where it takes you
- Choose plants children are already familiar with like sunflowers, carrots, pumpkins or green beans
- Give kids their own space or plot so they have their own plant to care for
For more help, here are some online resources I found that would be really helpful in getting started with kids in the garden. EarthEasy – Gardening with Children and Bright Horizons – Teaching Kids to Garden: Tips and Activities. In a related post I wrote, Teaching Kids About Food, a printable resource contains alternative tips to help introduce foods, namely fruits and vegetables to kids.
Are you gardening with your kids or students? I’d love to hear what you’re growing and how it’s going! Let me know in the comments. ~ Until next time, lots of love. -D