Planting with Kids at Home
Gardening with your children can be an amazing experience for them and you! It’s messy, it’s fun, it’s educational, and will make for great memories.
Backyard gardening doesn’t have to take up a lot of space and time, or even much effort. It will, though, help teach your child about how things grow and how important looking after the environment is. Planting with kids will help them learn where food comes from and what’s healthy for them to eat.
Some of the benefits of planting with kids are:
- They’ll learn to care for living things.
- It’s more likely that they’ll feel a connection to nature and care more about the environment.
- Growing food plants at a young age encourages healthier eating habits as they grow up.
- It’ll encourage them to spend a little more time outside.
- As they grow, hands on activities like backyard gardening will help encourage them to not be addicted to their electronic devices.
- It’s educational!
If you want your kids to enjoy gardening, you need to consider a few things when choosing what plants to grow. They should germinate, grow, and produce a crop quickly or your children might lose interest. They should also, if possible, be low maintenance. You know, like not require much watering or care in general. Unless of course, you’re willing to do that for them.
Here are 5 fun plants that you and the little ones might enjoy growing:
They’re pretty and they draw attention. Kids tend to love them and they also germinate in about a week. Your children can watch the sprouts grow and actually harvest the seedlings for salads. Alternatively – you can let the sprouts fully bloom and flower to harvest the seeds and dry them for snacks or use them to attract and feed birds in your garden. Kill two birds with one stone, Horticulture (gardening) and Ornithology (the study of birds). Well a bird and a plant? Hehe…
The bonus here is that you can make a meal of your crops. Carrots are easy to care for and the look of wonder and excitement on your child’s face as you pull them up out of the ground will be a priceless memory.
The vegetable popularized by Popeye the Sailor Man, spinach is a food plant that grows quite fast! It’s quite easy to grow and can be grown in a container on your balcony, porch, or even windowsill. This is perfect if you don’t have the backyard space, or are living in a condominium. Maybe many children don’t like to eat spinach, but if they grow it themselves it might help them change their minds.
Another plant that is easy to grow in the ground or in containers on your balcony! I wouldn’t recommend starting from seeds here, but buying a plant that’s already partly grown and closer to producing a yield. Cherry tomatoes are an awesome alternative that’ll allow your kids to eat right out of the garden. Disclaimer, make sure you’re growing them organically and rinse them first.
We’re in Thailand, so we love our Krapaow (Holy Basil). Harvest the leaves and use them in whatever dishes you desire, personally I like Spicy Basil Stir Fried Chicken. Bonus here, you can teach them to cook, from farm to table.
Planting with kids is just another option among many activities you can do at home with your children, specifically during this time of social distancing. Staying at home is still important to help us fight to flatten the curve. The little ones might be growing restless, I know us big ones are, so we hope that the activities we suggest might help you find a little peace and joy. Read our blog Fun Indoor Activities for Parent and Child for more suggestions. Stay safe, stay healthy, and get those hands dirty in the garden.