Gardening is an activity that’s best enjoyed with the ones you love! But how do you inspire your kids to want to become involved in gardening with you? As we prepare to enjoy the May Long Weekend together with our families, let’s explore these ideas for getting your kids involved in the garden.
The Right Tools for the Job
In the same way that you need the right gardening tools for the task at hand, so do your little helpers! Having their own appropriately sized tools is one of the best ways to get your kids excited about spending time in the garden. While your kids will have the buzz of receiving a new “toy” to play with, you’ll also be able to demonstrate to them how to use each tool for various gardening tasks.
Let Your Kids Choose the Plants
Whether you’re creating a vegetable garden or filling a flowerpot, involving your kids in the decision-making process is a great way to get them excited about the task at hand. Walking with your kids through greenhouses is a fun activity that provides both visual and physical engagement for your kids. From choosing flowers that are their favourite colours to picking edibles that are their favourite foods, it makes gardening feel more exciting and tangible to them. When they’re invested in the plants that are going into the garden, they will be more excited about planting, maintaining, and harvesting from them.
This is also a great opportunity to explain to them which plants work well in certain growing conditions. You can show them which plants will thrive in shaded areas and which ones require full sun while also telling them what the growing conditions in their own backyard look like.
Meet Them Where They Are
Bring the gardening fun to the places they already occupy!
Whether they have a playhouse with window boxes, or a sandbox with space next to it, choosing to put plants near where they already play will make it even easier to encourage participation. If they’re already outside playing in a particular area, putting the plants in that area will give them a constant reminder to check on their plants, water them, and harvest from them. Part of encouraging your kids to get involved in the garden is making it as easy as possible for them to get involved!
Let Them Get Their Hands Dirty
From digging holes to pulling weeds, letting your kids get their hands dirty will help them become more invested in the gardening process. Pulling plants out of their pots and transplanting them is an opportunity to show them how root systems work, where plants grow from, and what’s going on beneath the ground. It educates them about the science of gardening while also showing them something cool.
Make a Seed Bomb
Now that they have the right tools, have picked out plants or seeds, and are ready to get their hands dirty, have them take action by making a seed bomb!
Seed bombs can be made by mixing the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of seeds
- 5 cups of compost
- 3 cups of clay powder (this can be found at craft stores)
After you’ve mixed together your ingredients, slowly add water until the material sticks together in your hands. After rolling together each ball, lay them out in the sun to dry out, and voila, your seed bombs are ready for throwing!
Showing your kids where plants come from is a great sensory project. Waiting for the seeds to sprout and watching them grow is another fun aspect of this activity that will keep them engaged for weeks and months to come.
PSST! Have some scrap paper around the house? You can also make seed bombs out of water, paper, and seeds!
Build a Fort Out of Trellises and Vines
Take the fort fun outside by making a secret hideaway in the garden for your kids. Forts in the garden can be made by putting arching trellises over a pathway or making a teepee out of trellises leaning on each other. Fast-growing vining plants like beans are a great option for quickly covering up the trellises and creating a “secret garden” feel. Garden forts give your kids a shaded area to play in throughout the hot summer months that’s not indoors on the couch.
The best part is you can involve them from start to finish. This includes picking out the plants and trellises, digging holes, transplanting, and maintaining the plants as they grow. Both the process and the end result are fun activities and rewarding for kids in the garden.
Forts can be made out of more than just blankets and pillows!
Learn more about building a Magical Living Fort at the Herbal Academy.
Enjoy Garden Maintenance Together
After the holes have been dug and the plants have been planted, what’s left is to enjoy the garden maintenance together! Make daily watering a routine activity with your kids by bringing them in to help fill the watering can and water each plant. Additional tasks like fertilizing and harvesting are also fun activities that your kids can help you with. In addition to getting outside and checking on their plants’ progress, they’re also learning lessons about patience and consistency.
Gardening Supplies at Urban Roots Garden Market
We have the plants and supplies you need to have a fun May Long Weekend in the garden with your kids! Find the location in your neighbourhood here.