Spring is almost upon us and that means warmer weather and great conditions for gardening. It’s the perfect time to undertake some simple and fun gardening with the kids. It’s time to get outside!
Gardening can provide children with developmental skills as they help you outdoors and you enjoy quality time together. In addition, it teaches life lessons, including patience, hard work and responsibility. And – there’s not a screen or the demand for wifi in sight! What are you waiting for?
As the weather warms, take the chance to head into the sunshine and make some memories with your kids. From flowers to veggies there’s so many simple and cheap projects you can try together.
Gardening with Kids: Create a Flower Garden
Kids love flowers and spring is the perfect time to plant a flower bed. Children tend to favour bright and colourful flowers that they can explore and pick so varieties such as fuchsias, marigolds, sunflowers and lavender are good choices. These flowers can easily be grown in pots too if space is limited and best of all they can be eaten. Make a day of your special project and head to the local nursery to choose your seeds or seedlings together. From choosing to paying, planting to watering – your child will enjoy it all!
Or… turn your flower garden into a fairy garden!
Fairy gardens are right on trend so why not take the opportunity to add some whimsy and fairy-fun to your existing flower gardens? If you don’t have a lot of tiny props you can buy kits from Big W. Many mums however will be delighted to scavenge the house for a lot of small ‘bits n pieces’ they can send outside for a new purpose! Image below WHOOT (click through for a Fairy Garden ‘How To’)
Plant some veggies – the perfect starter project to gardening with kids
Once the weather starts to warm and the threat of frost has passed start planting some veggies in preparation for summer. Lettuce, carrots and tomatoes are all easy for children to grow and can be used in a great range of dishes that kids can help prepare once they are ready to harvest. Strawberries are a great choice for those who need to use pots. You may also like to explore a herb garden idea which is great for in cooking and an expanded sensory experience with touch, sight and smell. Your child will not only enjoy the planting but if you can grow your veggies to fruition there’s a great sense of satisfaction in the ‘garden to plate’ experience. You might even convince them to try a new vegetable or too – after all, they must be delicious if they grew them… right?!
Make compost or worm tea – so gross it’s good!
Now is the time that many plants need to be fed in preparation for their growth season so why not make a worm poo or compost tea with the kids? Of course they’re going to love just how gross this sounds so you can be sure they’ll be enthusiastic! This can be done by adding some broken down compost or worm castings (poo) into a hessian bag, placing in a bucket or water and leaving it to steep overnight. Kids love feeding plants a cup of tea made from worm poo and compost the next day.
A worm farm is also a great addition to any garden for both its educational and recycling / environmental properties. You can build one yourself or buy a simple kit like this.
Feeling inspired? Us too! Here’s a list of great plant ideas for beginners that you can choose from in your local nursery or hardware:
- Bush Beans
- Snow Peas
Here’s to a bumper crop of whatever you decide to grow! The main purpose of course, of gardening with kids, is to get outside and enjoy some time together. Who knows what kind of budding green thumb you might be raising? Do you get out in the garden with your kids?
Caroline Robets is a mum to an adorable toddler and the owner of Gardening 4 Kids. As an environmental educator and gardening specialist she is passionate about educating children about a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable future. Find her on facebook and twitter.