Want to get your kids into the garden with you? Here’s a few of our favourite ways.
1. Veggie Veggie Good Gardening
Kids are more likely to eat their vegetables if they are the ones growing them. Give them their own small garden plot and a little gentle guidance but ultimately let them decide what they want to plant in it.
- Bring kids to Clearview Garden Shop and show them the many vegetable seeds they can pick from. It may vary with the area you live in but generally the month of April is best for planting: carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, radishes, and spinach.
- Show kids how to prepare the soil and plant the seeds. Talk about vegetable care including how often to water, get sunshine, and when to harvest.
- Sing the “I’ll Plant A Little Seed” song with younger kids to sprinkle some magic on the moment. It’s sung to the same tune as “I’m a Little Teapot.”
I’ll plant a little seed in the dark, dark ground.
Out comes the yellow sun, big and round.
Down comes the cool rain, soft and slow.
Up comes the little seed, grow, grow, grow!
- Bring children to a local farmers market and introduce them to the vendors. Let them ask questions about how the produce is grown and get tips for their own gardens.
2. It’s a Sign of the Gardening Times
Don’t forget to mark all those veggies before you put them in the ground. Kids young and old enjoy getting crafty. Help them mark their territory in the garden by creating their own personal signs and markers.
- Plant markers: Use popsicle sticks, wooden dowels, or spoons as markers. Older kids can write the names of the vegetables on them with permanent markers. Younger kids can paint a picture or cut out photos of the vegetables from seed catalogs.
- Garden sign: Make a wooden sign with your child’s name and hang it in their plot with gardening twine. Use letter stencils to spell out the words and have your kid fill in the letters with paint or wood markers.
- Rock border: Have kids go on a treasure hunt for small and medium sized rocks. Clean the rocks and have kids paint them in their favourite colors. Place the rocks around their plot to form a pretty border.
- Pots for plants: Some plants do better in pots than in the ground. Buy terra-cotta pots and have your little one paint them with acrylic paints using a foam brush. Give the pots a blast of glitter spray to make them sparkle in the sun.
3. The Tools of the Trade
Most gardening tools are made for adults and may not work as well for your little gardener. Clearview Garden Shop has a variety of gardening equipment in fun colours that are made for tiny hands. We recommend picking up these items and gifting them to your little one in a sturdy canvas tote or get creative and place them in a small wheelbarrow.
- Gardening gloves
- Knee pads
- Mosquito repellent
- Sun block
- Watering can
4. It’s a Bugs Life
Insects such as bees, wasps, ants, flies, butterflies and moths are beneficial to a garden. They help to pollinate the fruits, flowers and vegetables. Many children are fascinated by bugs and all the creepy crawlies that make their home in our gardens. Use their love of bugs to teach them about how these critters help the garden grow. Go on a bug hunt in your own backyard.
- Make a spotter sheet of the bugs you’re likely to find in your yard.
- Create a bug hunt kit with a magnifying glass to get a closer look, a net for catching and releasing butterflies, and a pencil to mark your sheet.
- Download an insect-identifying app to your smartphone to learn more about the bugs you discover.
- Show kids how to safely flip over logs, stones, and other objects to see what insects lie beneath.
- Ask age-appropriate questions such as which bug was the smallest or largest, which had the best colour, or what they would name the insect.
5. Im-press Mom This Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is coming up in just a few weeks. Help a child make a card with pressed flowers for the mother in their life. It’s an easy and fun activity to do and teaches children about different flowers.
- Take a walk through your garden and help your child gather fresh flowers that are flat-headed, like gerberas and daisies, since these are easier to press.
- Skip the traditional book pressing method which can take weeks that impatient littles don’t have. Instead, use the microwave to quickly dry the flowers. Place the flowers between two sheets of paper and then place them in a book. Zap the book in short 30-40 second bursts for about ten times. After each burst, open the page gently to let the vapor escape.
- Put the flowers in another book for two to three days.
- Paste the flowers on cardstock and use markers to create a personalized card for mom.
Just as we watch our gardens grow, we watch the little ones in our life grow as well. Support them in developing a love of gardening and see them blossom from little gardeners into big garden experts. Hopefully in time for all those May flowers.
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