Children love being outside playing in the soil, and they love doing things their parents do. Channel your kids' natural curiosity by teaching them how to grow their own flowers and edibles. With a little guidance and preparation from you, your kids can develop a deeper understanding of nature and a love of gardening that can last a lifetime.
Grow your kids' confidence in gardening by setting them up for early successes with easy edibles. Fast-growing plants like radishes start growing in cooler weather and take only 30-60 days to mature. Spectacular plants, such as confectionary sunflowers, sprout in only 7 days and can grow 2 feet high in a month. Better yet, they produce delicious snack food that kids can feel proud of growing and sharing. Loose-leaf lettuce, another fast-maturing plant, can be harvested and eaten when it's only a few inches tall.
Give each of your kids their own plot to plant in, preferably in the center of the action where you do your gardening, so they don't feel left out. Don't be surprised if your children get distracted by interesting bugs or the occasional toad. These encounters will expand their knowledge and excite their curiosity about the natural world.
Show off your kids' gardening accomplishments by taking photos and videos you can share with friends and relatives. Bring the fruits of their labor into the kitchen by cooking and baking treats using ingredients fresh from their garden. Encouraging them to give flowers they grow to loved ones lets them experience the joy of giving a beautiful homegrown gift.
Once your kids have developed the gardening bug, try more challenging and engaging projects. Grow a pizza garden filled with oregano, basil, tomatoes and other ingredients for a favorite meal. Bring fall pumpkin-picking to you own backyard by planting pumpkins. Plant flowers like nasturtiums that are not just beautiful, but edible too.