Gardening With Kids
By Steven Biggs
Gardener, Garden Writer, Garden Coach, Horticulturist
I wasn’t fast enough. I saw Quinn raise his hand to his mouth, but he knew that I saw him. So he quickly stuck his hand in his mouth, and had his first taste of...soil.
Toddlers seem to want to taste everything. I figured the soil wouldn’t taste good and that he wouldn’t bother eating it again. But sure enough, I was wrong and he had another taste of it a couple days later, beaming up at me as he wiped a large, dark smudge of soil across his cheeks.
Soil tasting aside, he really enjoys being in the garden. He happily flings soil around the bed with the little blue shovel. And the wriggling worm that I plopped onto his shovel elicited a delighted grunt from him. At the age of four, my older one, Emma, is an enthusiastic helper too.
Fun Stuff for Kids in the Garden
- Get your kids a small shovel and a pail.
- Even if you don’t want kids to dig in the garden, a pail or basket is great for a rock-collecting mission.
- Seed packets make noise when shaken, so let the kids have fun shaking them before you do your seeding.
- If you have a separate spot for kids to plant a garden, make it special by framing it with onion sets or a little hedge of sunflower plants.
- Last year we used an old board to make a gangplank beside Emma’s garden...and it was a big hit.
And for Parents...
- Try not to sweat the small stuff. Emma proudly handed me a tender young garlic plant she dug up yesterday, saying, “Look daddy, I found an onion for r you.”
- Set boundaries: I found that by the age of three Emma knew that she was only allowed to walk on the pathways.
- Let them help pick, or hold the basket or bowl into which you’re picking.
- If you’re kids still have the itch to dig (and mine do), get a sandbox, or even a bushel basket filled with sand. The digging, pouring, and moving from one container to another can be lots of fun.
Practical, no-nonsense advice for the edible garden.
Gardener, Garden Writer,
Garden Coach, Horticulturist
with timely tips on growing vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
- What’s in season
- What to do next
- Cooking garden produce
- Common questions
- Kid-friendly gardening
- Upcoming gardening events
ZESTFUL, FUN, INFORMATION-PACKED, OPINIONATED—even slightly irreverent—this graphic-novel-meets-gardening-book empowers readers to make their own decisions in the vegetable garden because the authors, two garden coaches, talk frankly about issues…and don’t always agree.
Click here to visit the website for No Guff Vegetable Gardening.
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