Gardening is so good for the soul and the only thing better to watch than something grow that you planted by seed with your hands, is to watch the look in a child's eyes when they see something they planted grow. Gardening is a natural for kids. Digging in dirt, being allowed to get dirty, wonderment and excitement, doing something with their own little hands. Well, need I say more?
My grandchildren love Grandma's back yard. I converted a shed into a potting shed for them and, needless to say, we spend a lot of good times out there. I bought them their own little garden tools, finding them at dollar stores and thrift stores. Seeds are very inexpensive so they tried growing several things. Pumpkins, watermelon, tomatoes,string beans and squash. Plants such as coleus, ivy, and philodendron are fast growing and easy to care for plants which make them great for kids to grow. Every time they spend time with me, they rush out to the yard to see how much their plants had grown and enjoy watering them in the process.
But, the greatest plant for them was the "Mammoth" sunflower and I recommend this to anyone who wants to garden with kids. They planted them by seed and they grew rapidly. We had no pest problems and they soon reached 9 feet tall. My joy comes from the look in their eyes as the plants grow and it is so much fun gardening with them. Try it with a child and you will plant many wonderful memories!
By Mary from Palm Coast, FL
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Studies show that children, no matter how small, can benefit socially, physically, and academically from participating in gardening. Here are some helpful tips for getting (and keeping) small children engaged in gardening.
Planting seeds with your kids is a very rewarding project for everyone. Getting to see the seeds that they planted sprout into plants is fun and educational.
Anyone that takes the time and effort to teach a child to garden will reap great rewards for their effort. Being responsible for tending a garden also fosters a sense of "nurturing" and helps them learn to care for other living things.
I have two little boys and they are growing pumpkins this year in our garden. We bought these little kits for a dollar each but you could use a recycled container and a package of pumpkin seeds just as easily (maybe a yogurt container).
My little granddaughter wanted to help me work in my garden but she needed to wear gloves. I realized the inexpensive stretchy winter gloves that are one-size-fits-all would work for her, and they did. These gloves are often sold for as little as $1.
Kids (of all ages) love to play in the dirt. That makes an activity like gardening naturally appealing to young children. It provides them with exercise, helps grow their self-esteem, and gives them an outlet for creativity.
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I have a 4 year old granddaughter. We did a garden together that did OK, but I am looking for other planting projects to do with her. I have 6 big pots that we can put stuff in.
Clarissa from East Chicago, IN
You just have to grow giant sunflowers!
Kids love them as they recognise them easily, and you can have a competition to see whos grows the tallest!
Easy to Grow Good to Use
Herbs - just about any kind
Miniature Ornamental Sunflowers
Johnny Jump Ups ( mini viola) > lovely in pots
Marigolds from seed
Mint - many varieties & great in pots
Ornamental Cabbage - grow well in pots, and look great through into the winter
For a bit of fun. Have your Child grow a carrot forest.
Cut the top end off the carrots. Place a paper towel on a saucer or shallow dish. Add water, add carrot tops. Place in a sunny window. Keep wet watering daily. In about 7 to 10 days they will have a carrot forest! Also, you can grow alfalfa sprouts the same way. My kids loved it. Great for winter gardening and totally fun for kids. Hedera
I plant tomatoes in pots and enjoy them. They flower then have little green tomatoes for a long time before they turn red and are ready to eat. For a child tomatoes may require too much time to reap the reward which can be around July 4th or later depending on the variety. We use a tomato cage to support the heavy branches. I love the taste of home-grown tomatoes so much. I grow one plant of grape tomatoes and one of larger tomatoes for slicing. The funny thing is DH doesn't like fresh tomatoes, so I give the overabundance to neighbors.
Last year growing tomatoes upside down was very popular. I think this site had instructions to make those in a DIY project. If you have a place to hang them, you might search for those.
Have fun and good luck with whatever you plant.
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True gardeners develop the passion early in life . . . and quickly become serious about their newfound reason to awaken each morning.
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