Make Gardening Fun for Kids
Everyone deserves the opportunity to get their hands dirty once in a while! Gardening is the perfect blend of messy, fun, and educational that kids love. They learn a great deal about the circle of life, the planet, and of course – plants! Gardening prompts the natural curiosity of children, encouraging them to ask more questions about science, nature, nutrition, their surroundings, and even things like math.
Below, you’ll find some great ideas to get kids interested in gardening – from the best flowers and plants for little hands and beginners, to themed gardens, and even fun projects like making plant and garden markers! Now it’s time to dive in, dig deep, and grow something fun with the kids in your life.
What Are the Benefits of Gardening for Kids?
It’s easy to forget all the different things gardening involves. As we get older, we sometimes lose touch with the innate curiosity and sense of wonder children experience daily. Gardening allows them to lean into it, ask questions, and get to know the world in a new way. These are just a few of the many benefits of gardening with kids.
- Healthy Eating – Some kids are picky eaters. Gardening is a fantastic way to gently urge them to branch out. Like cooking, it gives them a chance to be involved in their own food. They get to know what they put in their mouths in a new, profound way because they grew it themselves! They’ll be eating their carrot or their
- Scientific Curiosity – How do plants grow? Why do plants need sun? Gardening prompts kids to ask questions about plants, nature, and the world around them, while simultaneously touching and feeling many of the answers. It’s an excellent way to awaken a natural scientific curiosity.
- Math Skills – Math sneaks into gardening whether kids realize it or not! Whether they’re measuring the amount of water to pour, charting plant growth, or just counting how many petals their sunflower has, they’re engaging with math and numbers.
- Responsibility – Gardening is the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about taking care of something, and you can expand that lesson into caring for the planet. After all, plants (and humans) are all part of the same circle of life, sharing the planet Earth.
Gardening Ideas and Projects
We’ve covered why kids and gardening make a perfect pair, but how should you approach it? We’ve compiled a list of great gardening ideas for beginners. Depending on the child’s age, some of these are solo projects, while others require helping hands from a grown-up.
1 – Make a Container
Container gardens have a few benefits. They keep the mess (relatively) in one place, and they’ll fit into any space. You won’t need a lot of spare surface area or land for a container garden, as they’ll fit in anything from an old coffee can to a big barrel.
To get kids involved, let them choose their recycled container and help prepare it. A grown-up will likely need to assist with creating drainage holes or cutting off the top of the container (if it’s something like a plastic bottle).
From there, let the kids decorate it! Paint designs on the outside of the container, add stickers, and have fun.
2 – Pick a First Plant
Sometimes, it’s best to start small. If your child is completely new to gardening (and maybe you are too), you don’t have to dive right into the deep end and plant an entire garden. Instead, let your child pick one plant to start with. There are many easy, beginner-friendly plants out there, whether you’re looking to grow edible plants or just something pretty. Here are a few kid-friendly suggestions.
- Herbs (like mint or basil)
You can start with seeds or let them care for a sprout or small plant from your garden (if you keep one). Either way, they’ll become quickly acquainted with plant needs, like sunlight, water, and soil.
3 – Themed Gardens
Themed gardens can be a lot of fun, and they can even serve a bigger purpose. For instance, children can help with “giving gardens”, which grow food to donate and give away. Gardening, empathy, and caring for others all go hand in hand.
There are plenty of playful ideas out there, too! Help your child think about what they like, or what they’d like to use their garden for.
- Pizza Gardens – Pizza gardens house many of the ingredients for pizza! Kids can grow tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs like basil and parsley. Once the pizza garden is ready, they’ll use their harvest to make a delicious, fresh pizza and enjoy their hard work!
- Rainbow Garden – For children who love color, rainbow gardens contain a bit of everything! As you likely suspected, the goal is to have one plant representing every color of the rainbow. You can use flowers for this garden or go one step further and pick out fruits and vegetables.
- Fairy Gardens – Fairy gardens combine nature, whimsy, and gardening. Children can create fairy houses and fairies and plant the garden around them. Violets, daisies, lavender, and even strawberries are perfect for hiding fairies!
4 – Plant Markers
If you’re planting seeds, or just have a lot of plants coming in at once, it gets confusing! Kids can create plant markers from popsicle sticks, rocks, or just about anything. Write the names of the plants or draw special pictures showing what’s planted there. It’ll keep the garden organized, and they’ll know just what’s growing.
5 – Summer Camp
This isn’t just any summer camp! We’re talking about Stoney Creek Farm’s very own 2023 Adventure Camp. At camp, kids learn about many different farm and nature-related topics, explore, make crafts, and more! Children from ages 6 to 10 have the unique opportunity to learn about gardening and the natural world – all while having a blast at Stoney Creek Farm!
By encouraging kids to garden and turning it into a great experience, you’ll have a positive effect on many aspects of their lives. Beyond that, it’s just plain fun. It’s permission to play outside and help something grow. Life doesn’t get much better than that, no matter what age you are.