It can be rewarding for a gardener to share their hobby with their children. Even young children can enjoy learning how to plan their own gardens and then put in the plants. They will get a thrill out of watching their plants grow and then harvesting them when they are ready. Teaching a child to garden can create a lifelong love. When working with children and teaching them to garden, it helps to provide the right materials and tools, all in child sizes.
To get started, provide the children a child-sized cultivator, a child-sized trowel, a child-sized hoe and a child-sized rake. Next, show your child the garden and help them claim a space as their own. Section it off so everyone knows it belongs to the children. There is no need for a special design, it just needs to be an area in the garden where the children can explore and experiment with planting their seeds.
Ask the children what they want to grow. If they’re not sure, you can make recommendations. They’ll certainly recognize certain vegetables and fruits such as cucumbers, carrots, beans, and tomatoes. If they are starting with seeds, try and stick to plants with larger seeds. These are easier for small hands. If they are using seedlings, they have a bigger choice in what they plant.
One fun idea is for the children to plant radishes. These plants sprout very quickly and are harvested shortly after planting. Other good plants for a child’s garden are peppers and tomatoes. Herbs such as oregano and basil are also good choices.
Since most children love constructing forts to hide in, they might try planting climbing flowers and beans. They can build a teepee using twine and poles and even leave a door so they can sit under their own plants. Planting sunflowers in a circle or a square and then filling in with smaller flowers will create a type of room where your children can sit and read or enjoy the sunshine.
If your child loves scents and things that smell good, they could plant other culinary herbs that have nice scents. These include basil, mint, sage, and chives. They can also plant edible flowers which are pretty cool such as pansies, nasturtiums, calendulas, and violets.
Garden water feature options can also be a nice addition and children who love playing with water will love to have something like this. It can be used for fish or for playing in and is worthy of consideration.
One thing to be sure your child understands is that some plants can make them sick. These are toxic plants and are dangerous to both people and pets. Always teach your child to talk with you before they eat anything they don’t recognize.
Working in the garden can be fun for both you and your child. Give them their own tools and a space to work and you’ll both have a great time!