- 3 mins
Gardening with Kids — Ten Ways to Get Them Involved
According to Savoie-Roskos et al. (2017), children exposed to gardening will increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. We’re sure that sentence alone will increase your chances of getting your child involved in gardening!
Check out these ideas for getting kids involved with gardening:
Give your kids their own space to garden
A small corner of an existing garden or even a few pots will do. It will also be an excellent way for them to learn to be responsible and proud of their hard work!
Encourage them to get creative with their garden design
Allow them to choose their own plants and arrange them however they like. They can even create some faces or other designs with potted plants or garden plants.
Seek out a communal garden
This is great for if you live in a city, if you don’t have the space in your yard, or if you live in a flat or apartment with no gardening space or balcony.
Create a pizza garden
Kids love pizza, so what could be more fun than growing their toppings? Some possibilities are tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs. Once everything is ready to harvest, you can let the kids make the pizzas with their own homegrown toppings!
Choose age-appropriate projects
Younger children can try planting flowers in a pot or growing a few vegetables in a small plot; older children can help with more complicated tasks like building a raised garden bed or starting a compost bin.
Let them get dirty
Gardening is an excellent opportunity for kids to get their hands dirty and explore the natural world. A little dirt might also be a good way for us parents to work on other responsibilities with kids—like washing hands.
Make a scarecrow
This is a classic gardening activity that kids usually love. Get some old clothes and stuff them with straw, hay, or old rags. For the head and frame, check out some of the videos on YouTube on how to make a simple scarecrow. Then help the kids dress the scarecrow and prop him up in the garden. You can explain to your kids why it will be a good idea to keep certain animals away from their plants and turn the scarecrow creation into a wonderful learning experience.
Make it a team effort
Gardening is more fun when it’s done together. Help your children with the heavy lifting and let them take charge of the watering and weeding. They can also be part of the entire project—planning, prioritizing what needs to be planted first and overseeing the care of the plants. You are now working on essential executive functioning skills in a fun manner!
Celebrate the kids’ gardening efforts with a garden party
Invite some friends over and have a picnic lunch in the garden. The kids can play games and enjoy being outdoors.
Record your efforts
It is always a wonderful experience to look back at memories created together. If you take “before and after” photos, you can add these to a memory book so your kids can share their creations with family and friends.
Gardening is a great way to spend time with your children and instill a love for nature in them. With a bit of patience and guidance, your children will be able to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
Savoie-Roskos, M. R., Wengreen, H., & Durward, C. (2017). Increasing fruit and vegetable intake among children and youth through gardening-based interventions: A systematic review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117(2), 240–250.