Children are born explorers, and touching the cool earth, planting seeds and watching a plant grow are wonderful lessons in learning where our food comes from. Plus – they get to play in the dirt and not get in trouble for it!
You can plot out an area in your yard or keep it small with a container garden. There are no rules to where you can plant, so don’t be afraid to get creative – half wine barrels, terra-cotta pots and even old cast iron tubs make for fantastic containers.
What to Plant?
When considering what to plant with children, think about how easy it is to plant the seeds, what it looks like as it is growing and, of course, the final product.
Here are some plants that are favorites among children:
While a small pumpkin patch requires some room for wandering vines, it’s so visually pleasing for children. They’ll also be delighted when October comes around, and they have their very own pumpkin to pick. The seeds are a big enough size, which makes planting simple for children of all ages.
For a fun and whimsical garden perfect for children, try placing poles around the outer edge of a round garden bed and tie some rope around the poles at the top to hold them in place. Plant your seeds on the outer side of the poles – the magic occurs as the pea plants slowly climb the poles toward the top. If you leave a large enough gap between the poles, your children can have a sweet place for picnics.
There’s something so endearing about a sunflower plant in the heart of the growing season. They are easy to plant, fun to watch grow and, of course, their seeds are delicious!
Carrots have very small seeds, and children will need some guidance when planting, but it’s worth it when harvesting the crop. It’s so much fun to watch your child pull their large carrots out of the soil.
These can be purchased as starts (already in a planter) or cultivated from seed. The highlight for this plant is the joy that the children get as the tomatoes ripen. It doesn’t get much better than eating a sun-warmed tomato right off the vine.
Gardening teaches a valuable lesson about how our food is grown, and gives children the chance to experience the entire process right in front of their eyes. Plus, you get delicious and healthy vegetables at the end of all your hard work!
Have you started a garden with your child? If you have, I would love to see pics and hear what kind of garden your child grew!!